Ecocide: The Earth needs a lawyer

Polly Higgins. Photo credit: Priits Siimon (TED Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License)

  • Devonport Lecture Theatre, Portland Square Building, Plymouth University

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Join the Sustainable Earth Institute for an evening with UK-based barrister Polly Higgins. Polly will talk about her proposal to expand the remit of the International Criminal Court to include Ecocide as an international crime. 

Polly Higgins’ commitment to advancing an international crime of Ecocide has impact. By criminalising ecocide - significant harm to the Earth - millions of lives and countless habitats shall be saved. All of the planet shall benefit from this one global law. Much of Polly’s work (often unfunded) is providing legal advice to States that have the largest environmental challenges and at the same time extremely limited financial resources.

Polly is the award-winning author of Eradicating Ecocide: Laws and Governance to Prevent the Destruction of Our Planet, and author of two further books about Ecocide law. Her proposal to expand the remit of the International Criminal Court to include Ecocide as an international crime (to stand alongside genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression) will ensure global governance and protection against some of the most egregious crimes, namely State and corporate crime that causes or fails to prevent climate disasters as well as other ecological catastrophes.

WMO climate data accurately demonstrates a future where Ecocide law is not implemented. The impact in terms of human and species lives saved, lands and oceans protected, as well as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, is incalculable. For many generations to come, this is one law that will help create a world of greater peace.


  • Registration and arrival: from 18:00
  • Lecture with Q&A: 18:30-19:30

This event is free and open to all - please register via the above link.

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With close links to regulatory bodies, academic networks and local practitioners, research within the Environment and Marine law theme at Plymouth complements the wider research strengths of the University and is both interdisciplinary and applied in its focus. Find out more about our research.

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