Rule of Law

Stop Ecocide

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“The rules of our world are laws, and they can be changed. Laws can restrict or they can enable. 

What matters is what they serve. Many of the laws in our world serve property –

 they are based on ownership. But imagine a law that has a higher moral authority a law that puts people 

and planet first. Imagine a law that starts from first do no harm, that stops this dangerous game and 

takes us to a place of safety….” Polly Higgins, 2015  

“ecocide” means unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial 

likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts. 

Legal definition of ecocide drafted by Independent Expert Panel — Stop Ecocide International 

Dear [elected representative ] 

Support making ECOCIDE an international crime  

Mass damage and destruction of ecosystems (ECOCIDE), committed over decades and permitted by law, has led to global climate and ecological crisis. 

Treaties, agreements and civil lawsuits have all failed to prevent this. 

It is time to change the rules. 

Amending the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to include ECOCIDE as a CRIME – alongside genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity – can provide a simple, effective deterrent for those in positions of responsibility, enforceable within existing criminal justice systems.  

Please convey my request to the Minister of Justice, Minister of Foreign Affairs [or equivalents in your country] and the Prime Minister/President [as appropriate] for the government to publicly declare support for such an amendment, in the knowledge that many countries must stand together to put this law in place for the long-term protection of all life on Earth. 

As your constituent, I look forward to your confirmation in writing that you have done this on my behalf. 


The Rule of Law Index

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The World Justice Project (WJP) is a multinational and multidisciplinary initiative to strengthen the Rule of Law for the development of communities (countries), of opportunities, and equity throughout the world. A key element of that initiative is the WJP’s Rule of Law Index. It is a quantitative assessment tool designed to offer a detailed and comprehensive picture of the extent to which countries around the world adhere the Rule of Law. By measuring performances on a periodic basis across a larger number of variables, the Index offers a road map that can aid governments, private sectors and civil society in identifying opportunities for targeted reforms. The index consists of 16 factors and 68 sub-factors, organized under a set of four principles, or bands (Source: The Rule of Law Index, World Justice Forum II, November 11-14, 2009, Vienna/Austria).

Roland Leithenmayr, VfV