Ecocide Bill proposed by Labour MSP
A Labour MSP is canvassing views on her proposed bill to create a new crime of ecocide in Scots law.
Central Scotland member Monica Lennon believes the new offence is necessary as a deterrent to prevent acts causing severe harm to the environment.
Introducing her proposal, she writes: "While most people accept that governments must do more to stop the mass destruction of the environment, there is a growing recognition that additional laws may be needed to protect the planet and people."
Her examples of ecocide include the Braer oil spill in Shetland in 1993, radioactive contamination, unsustainable fishing practices, and the proliferation of plastics in our seas to the danger of marine ecosystems.
There is a movement to make ecocide an international crime, like genocide and crimes against humanity. Ms Lennon believes that alongside this, "domestic law can also make a huge difference. While Scotland cannot propose an amendment to international law, we can take action to codify ecocide in domestic law".
She adds: "Those found guilty of ecocide would face sanctions including imprisonment. This would serve as a strong deterrent to prevent acts causing severe harm to the environment from happening in the first place."
Ecocide bills have been recently been proposed or progressed in some European countries and in Brazil and Mexico.
"My proposal will help Scotland keep pace with the European and international trend toward domestic criminalisation of ecocide", Ms Lennon concludes. "The creation of a Scottish crime of ecocide would also show solidarity with nations most affected by climate change and biodiversity loss."
Read the proposal. The consultation runs until 9 February 2024.