Scenario two involves the same corporation, the same oil, and the same people. Instead of ordering in the army, the minister simply approves the project. The oil leaks into the river system poisoning the fish and the people who drink the water. The same number of people die.
Only one scenario involves an international crime. How can this be?
The group Eradicating Ecocide has proposed amending the 1998 Rome Statute to include a fifth crime against peace -- the crime of ecocide.
Eradicating Ecocide's legal adviser Louise Kulbicki recently attended the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability in Brazil, which brought together chief justices and attorneys general from around the world.
"Everybody recognized that there is a need to develop international environmental crimes," Kulbicki reports.
Ecocide, roughly defined, is "extensive damage to and loss of ecosystems of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other cause, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished." More