London, attended by over 200 of the great and the good from the legal and corporate world, an innovative Ecocide project was a finalist for an award in the creative use of mediation and restorative justice techniques.
The awards were given by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, Europe’s premier body dedicated to using mediation techniques in business and the public sector. An unlikely place for Ecocide to be recognised, you might think? The journey to that evening started back in September 2011 when the Eradicating Ecocide campaign staged a
mock trial of two fictional oil company CEOs at the Supreme Court, attracting huge media interest. The CEOs were convicted of the crime of ecocide and were due to be sentenced in March 2012. In a highly unusual step, rather than applying conventional penalties of fines or prison, the CEOs were given the opportunity to take part in a restorative justice process, which involved bringing them into a dialogue with those who had been negatively impacted by their criminal actions. Restorative justice is a branch of the mediation field and is ideally suited to resolving crimes of ecocide.
Wild Law UK members Liz Rivers and Carine Nadal were involved in the design and implementation of the process, which was co-organised by The Hamilton Group and The University of Essex. (See Carine Nadal’s blog post on the
process below. The judges said of this project:
“The Ecocide Mock Trial Sentencing is an innovative, thoughtful attempt to apply restorative justice principles to the issue of sustainability, through the staging of a mock trial predicated on the as-yet fictional crime of ‘ecocide’. It experiments with new Alternative Dispute Resolution hybrids, and how they might be applied in practice.”
Ecocide and Wild Law principles are clearly beginning to penetrate the mainstream. Watch this space!