Lawyer who abandoned a courtroom career to campaign for an international crime of ecocide

What would it take to create a legal duty of care for the Earth? That is the question the Scottish barrister Polly Higgins found herself asking 15 years ago; a question that led her to abandon her courtroom career and embark on a quest to establish an international crime of ecocide. Such a crime would render persons of superior responsibility (such as company chief executives and government ministers) liable to prosecution for causing or contributing to large-scale ecosystem destruction.

Polly, who has died aged 50 of cancer, had begun to see the climate activist movement take up her call in the weeks before her death, with Extinction Rebellion actions demanding that ecocide law be established around the world.

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