EXPERT PANEL DEFINES ‘ECOCIDE’, FOR POTENTIAL ADOPTION AS A CRIME TO BE PROSECUTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

On 24 June 2021, an international panel of legal experts (the Panel) published a legal definition of ‘ecocide’ (the Proposallink) proposed to be adopted as a fifth crime to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (the ICC or the Court). The Rome Statute addresses crimes that are deemed to be of international concern: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. The ICC complements the jurisdiction of national criminal legal systems, and does not replace them (see Article 1, Rome Statute). The Court prosecutes cases as a court of “last resort”, only when States are unwilling or unable to do so. Read more

Have your say on increasing flexibility and efficiency in NSW heritage protection laws

On 13 May 2021, the NSW Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues commenced a review of the Heritage Act 1977 (NSW) (Heritage Act). The proposed changes are intended to walk the fine line of making it easier and less expensive to own heritage property while also improving heritage outcomes. A tiered system for heritage protection and additional enforcement options are some of the items for consideration. The Committee is accepting submissions until 27 June 2021. Read more

A climate change duty of care: Sharma v Minister for the Environment

The recent decision of Justice Bromberg in Sharma v Minister for the Environment [2021] FCA 560 found that a novel duty of care is owed by the Minister for the Environment to Australian children who might suffer potential “catastrophic harm” from the climate change implications of approving the extension to the Vickery coal mine in … Read more

Increasing expectations for climate change risk disclosure affecting businesses and financial services

Further statements from regulators and commentators reinforce the expectation that businesses will consider the materiality of climate change-related risks and disclose them accordingly. The obligations are not new, but rather the expected nature of action to satisfy existing obligations continues to evolve in relation to climate change. The expectations of financial services businesses in this … Read more