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The Planet v. Bolsonaro

Jurisdiction: International Criminal Court


Side A: All Rise (Ngo)


Side B: Bolsonaro and others (Government)


Core objectives: Whether Brazilian President Bolsonaro committed crimes against humanity through damage and destruction to the Amazon rainforest.


Summary
On October 12th, 2021, the NGO All Rise filed a communication to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) requesting an investigation into Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro for his role in Crimes Against Humanity resulting from ongoing deforestation and related activities in the Amazon rainforest. The communication was filed under Article 15 of the Rome Statute of the ICC, which allows the Prosecutor to make a request to the Pre-Trial Chamber to authorize an investigation into crimes within the jurisdiction of the court on the basis of information received from third parties.


The communication alleges that President Bolsonaro has promoted and facilitated a “widespread attack” on the Amazon Biome and “those who defend and depend upon it” which represents “a clear and extant threat to humanity itself.” The complaint argues that global climate security is dependent on the Amazon and its key role in regulating global temperatures and weather patterns, and that the “severe damage to the functions of the Amazon Biome caused by deforestation, conversion of deforested land to cattle ranching, and vast intentional forest fires” has disrupted this critical ecosystem turning it from a carbon sink to a carbon source.


The communication argues that through damage and destruction to the rainforest President Bolsonaro’s administration has inflicted, continues to inflict, and foreseeably risks inflicting “profound suffering and loss of life on local, regional and global populations alike.” It emphasizes that this is particularly true in the case of local populations living in the Amazon. These local populations are described in the complaint at “Environmental Dependents and Defenders.” The complaint argues that these populations are the victims of ongoing and intentional persecution by the Brazilian government, conducted in furtherance of a state policy, that amount to crimes against humanity contrary to Article 7 and Article 25(3)c) of the Rome Statute. It argues that since the Brazilian authorities are unable to carry out proceedings against Mr. Bolsonaro and his collaborators, the complaint should be admissible before the ICC under Article 17 of the Rome Statute.

Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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