Ecocide – v – Living Planet


Ecocide – v – Living Planet

The Trial

The Supreme Court, London

30 September 2011


Posted 15 August 2011, by Ecocide is a Crime, Ecocide is a Crime (Facebook),


“Once upon a time people did grievous harm to the environment without fully understanding the consequences of their actions. That defence is no longer available, and that sure knowledge we now have entails equally sure moral obligations. In this context, the idea of establishing the crime of ‘Ecocide’ is both timely and compelling.”

Jonathon Porritt, former Chair Sustainable Development Commission


On September 30th 2011 a mock trial will take place at the UK’s Supreme Court in London. The trial will last just one day. A judge, jury and barristers will test the crime of Ecocide as if it is already law.


Michael Mansfield QC, the prosecuting barrister, and Nigel Lickley QC, the defence barrister together with supporting legal teams, will lead the case for and against a fictional Mr X, CEO of a major corporation. Before the case is heard, legal argument will be put as to whether Ecocide and the Earth Right to Life should be applied to the charge against Mr X. Mr X will be played by an actor and has been charged with a number of ecocides – which one will be tried will be determined on the day. It could be:

Deforestation of the Amazon

Arctic drilling

Fracking for shale gas in Nigeria

Major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Bauxite mining of the Niyamgiri mountain

Unconventional tar sands extraction in Canada

Deep sea mining of the Central and Eastern Manus Basin


The trial will examine how the crime of Ecocide protects the Earth Right to Life and will be tried as though the proposed crime of Ecocide has been adopted by the UN.

What will happen is not pre-scripted; it is ultimately for the jury to determine whether the crime of Ecocide is made out and whether the Earth Right to Life is breached.




The Supreme Court: The Hamilton Group is using the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in London as the venue. This in no way implies endorsement by the Supreme Court of the opinions raised in the trial or the verdict reached by the trial jury.


The Hamilton Group: The Hamilton Group ( which is organising the Trial, is a not-for-profit organisation encouraging businesses, organisations and communities to bring responsibility for the world to the forefront of their decision-making. Contact Simon Hamilton: +44(0) 7931 382275; Fiona Hayes, +44(0) 7590425621


Polly Higgins: barrister and international environmental lawyer who proposed Ecocide as the law to protect the Earth Right to Life to the United Nations. Her book, Eradicating Ecocide, Laws and Governance to Prevent the Destruction of our Planet, sets out the law of Ecocide and she is campaigning for the Law of Ecocide to be made the 5th Crime Against Peace.


Please contact Simon Hamilton


Fiona Hayes


 Sponsorship Opportunities:

Contact Simon Hamilton:

Fiona Hayes,


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