The International Crime That Could Have Been But Never Was: An English School Perspective on the Ecocide Law.

Saloni Malhotra


This paper applies English School theory to explain the failure of efforts to establish ecocide as the fifth core international crime in the Rome Statute. It argues that while there is an emerging norm of environmental responsibility in international politics, the way this norm has been codified into laws has been influenced by two, arguably 'stronger' norms: the market and human rights. These two institutions of the international society have constrained the emergence of the norm of environmental responsibility. This has resulted in the establishment of utilitarian and anthropocentric environmental laws, rather than 'ecocentric' laws, as advocated by environmental lawyer Polly Higgins.  


Ecocide; International Criminal Law; Environmental Law; International Relations; English school.

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