On 30th September, the UKSC will host a  mock ‘Ecocide’ trial. The one day trial will follow UK court procedures and is open for the public to attend and starts at 9am. It is being shown on TV screens outside the courtroom for those not able to get into the actual courtroom.

International environmental lawyer, Polly Higgins, proposed to the UN in April 2010 that a law on Ecocide be classed as an international law alongside Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Crimes of Aggression and War Crimes, as a 5th Crime Against Peace. Ecocide is defined as:

“the mass damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.”

The mock trial will take place as if the crime of Ecocide had been adopted and will raise interesting questions such as who could be prosecuted under the proposed law, whether banks would be culpable if they provide funding for activities prosecuted and what effect the law would have on the environment, businesses and the people who run them.

On the prosecution team will be Michael Mansfield QC, Jane Russell and Setven Powles. Nigel Lickley QC and Adam Hiddleston will act for the defence.

For more information on the event see the Hamilton Group (the organisers) website. For commentary on the proposed crime of Ecocide see this informative post of the UKHR blog, published in June.

Update: A video of the mock trial can be seen here.