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Ecocide in the Dutch criminal code: a good idea or justified concerns?

Former Member of Parliament Lammert van Raan (PvdD) and alumna Eva Floris gave a guest lecture on the 13th of May on the Ecocide penalisation initiative bill. During the lecture, they discussed the idea behind the bill, the objections from politicians and the business community and the advice of the Advisory Division of the Raad van State.

On the occasion of the advice of the Raad van State on the 2nd of April, the initiator of the bill, Lammert van Raan (who wrote the proposal with jurists Judith Alkema, Femke Wijdekop and Abel van Wijk), and environmental criminal law researcher at Utrecht University, Eva Floris, were invited to elaborate more on the bill and the advice of the Raad van State. Lammert van Raan discussed the reason and genesis of the initiative bill, and explained why he chose to amend the Criminal Code. Eva Floris discussed the advice of the Raad van State, with also a look at the Division's reading of the bill.

About the bill

On 30 November 2023, Lammert van Raan submitted a bill that aims to create an ecocentric approach in environmental criminal law. Currently, damaging ecosystems is only punishable when an act endangers human health. The bill is in line with an international trend in which the ecocentric dimension is given a place in criminal law. France and Belgium, for instance, have had ecocide provisions since August 2021 and February 2024, respectively.

Read more about Eva Floris' analysis of Lammert van Raan's initiative proposal.

Thumbnail: Mene Tekel via Flickr

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