After the Trial, the Sentence…
In a most unusual step, sentencing of CEOs Robert Bannerman and John Tench has been adjourned for a Restorative Justice Hearing following their convictions for Ecocide in the UK Supreme Court that took place 30 September 2011. The Hearing for the Sentence has now taken place at the Institute for Democracy & Conflict Resolution (IDCR) at the University of Essex on the 31st of March 2012.
Under the Ecocide Act, new provisions have been applied where Restorative Justice is an option for the parties. Both CEO’s agreed to attend, which brought them face to face with individuals who speak on behalf of the inhabitants of the territory they have been convicted of extensively damaging. The Hearing took place after representations by Prosecuting Barrister Michael Mansfield QC and Defence Barrister QC counsel to the Judge (TBC). The parties had the option to adjourn to a room for a Restorative Justice (RJ) mediation, which was filmed and screened live as they wrestled with the issues that arose. The event was open to the public and interested organisations; there were breakout sessions, debates and speakers during the day that discussed the issues that arose during the Restorative Justice process. Lawrence Kershen QC facilitated the restorative justice process on the day.
Trailer for the event
The sentencing event was jointly organised by The Hamilton Group, which devised and managed the Ecocide Trial at the Supreme Court, and the Institute for Democracy & Conflict Resolution at the University of Essex.
On September 30th 2011, the UK Supreme Court in London served as the venue for a mock Ecocide Trial. Simon Hamilton, Chairman of The Hamilton Group, organisers of the event, says:
“The trial allowed a forensic examination of the implications of this proposed law to see how it would work in practice. Ecocide should be on the Agenda at the Earth Summit in Rio in June 2012. The mock Trial proved that the crime of Ecocide is valid. The ethical and moral case for the banning of ecocides must now be at the forefront of decision-makers in Government and business throughout the World. There is international interest in the passage of such a law and The Hamilton Group will continue to ensure that the implications are as widely debated and understood as possible.”
It is argued that the proposed new Law against Ecocide is fundamental in addressing humanitarian and environmental issues on a global scale. Implementation of the Law has the potential to change inter-governmental policy and action on climate change, by providing the necessary legal framework to help stop the over-exploitation of natural resources and to pre-empt the impending energy crunch.
The Earth’s Right To Life is currently being considered by the UN under a Universal Declaration of Earth Rights. Just as the Human Right to Life is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the crime of Genocide, so the Earth’s Right to Life will be enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Earth Rights and the crime of Ecocide.
The definition of Ecocide submitted by Polly Higgins to the United Nations is:
“the extensive 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 Ecocide Trial can be seen on YouTube in a short and long format. The short trailer is available by clicking HERE. The whole trial can be seen by clicking HERE. Photos of the Ecocide Trial taken by Abie Shwarz are available HERE.
- Professor Steffen Boehm (Essex Business School) on carbon markets
- Professor Hugh Ward (Department of Government) on political regimes and climate change
- Professor Sheldon Leader (School of Law) on project finance and the environment
- Dr Netta Weinstein on the psychological benefits of the environment
Special guest presenter
Garth Lenz, Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers
His work on the Alberta Tar Sands and boreal region of Canada was awarded first place in Social Documentary Net’s competion, “Ten Years After Nine-Eleven: Searching for a 21st Century Landscape.” A selection of this work is currently be shown at the PowerHouse Arena in New York and will soon be appearing in Aperture Foundation’s, “Searching For A New Front Page,” also in New York.
Garth’s large solo touring exhibition oif this material was premiered at the G2 Gallery in Los Angeles in February and March of 2011.
For more information on Garth Lenz, CLICK HERE
For a list of Frequently Asked Questions for this event, please CLICK HERE.
“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.” Sir Jonathon Porritt – Founder, Forum for the Future
“The social obligation of business is to sustainably maximize long-term profits for shareholders. Nothing more. Nothing less.” Professor Stephen Bainbridge, Professor of Law UCLA
‘The purpose of the corporation must be redefined as creating shared value, not just profit per se.’ Michael E. Porter & Mark K. Kramer, Harvard Business Review, January-February 2011
‘There is a rising form of public accountability through new technologies and a global demand for business to respect human rights, labour rights, and the environment.’ Professor Todd Landman, Director, Institute for Democracy & Conflict Resolution.
Sponsors for the event thus far include:
Faculty of Law and Management, University of Essex
Institute for Democracy & Conflict Resolution (IDCR), University of Essex, Colchester
The Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution works on forging and maintaining sustainable democratic institutions. It works to prevent and resolve conflicts through academic analysis, training, outreach and knowledge transfer across a wide range of issue areas. Its mission is to provide high quality and practical knowledge for all actors and stakeholders working to develop peaceful solutions for governing the world.
Contact:Todd Landman: firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)1206872129 IDCR: email@example.com +44 (0)1206873595 www.idcr.org.uk
The Hamilton Group
The Hamilton Group is a not-for-profit organisation encouraging businesses, organisations and communities to bring responsibility for the Earth to the forefront of their decision-making.