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The Earth’s Lawyers

“The Earth is in need of a good lawyer” thought barrister and international environmental lawyer Polly Higgins a few years ago. Why? Ecocide. In many places all around the world ecosystems are being destroyed by governments, organizations and corporations; think of the burning down of the Amazone forest, oil leakages in the Niger-delta and the depletion of tar sands in Canada. However, no one is being held accountable. Higgins calls for the implementation of ecocide as a crime in international law; a 5th Crime against Peace. With Ecocide Law, Higgins claims that important decision makers will think twice when signing off a nature-damaging project.

prof. Jaap Spier is a internationally renowned professor in Tort Law and frequent publicist, i.e. Shaping the Law for Global Crises en Climate Change Remedies. More recently, he has been the co-initiator, together with prof. Thomas Pogge, of the Oslo Principles on Global Climate Obligations. The Oslo Principles are a set of principles that put forward a set of legal obligations for states to act on Climate Change. The Oslo Principles were cited during the Climate Case in the Netherlands, when organization Urgenda sued the Dutch Government for not doing enough to reduce emissions.

Together with these two distinguished guests, we will have a discussion on how to use the law to protect the earth from ecocides and climate change. apparently, conventional environmental law seems not be sufficiently protect the earth from human caused destruction and global warming. On May 31st, we will find out and assess how they try to apply new forms of international law to protect the planet.

What: New International Law to protect the Planet

Who: Polly Higgins & Prof. Jaap Spier

When: May 31st, 13:00-14:00

Where: Roeterstraat 11, Amsterdam

Interviewers: Floris Rijssenbeek & Dylan Ahern

Language: English

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