Yesterday (18 April), five international judges concluded that Monsanto has violated human rights to food, health, a healthy environment and the freedom indispensable for independent scientific research.
Ecocide as crime
The judges’ legal opinion was based on evidence and statements from 30 witnesses and experts from five continents, presented at the Monsanto Tribunal held in The Hague in October 2016.
The T/lo/iol,.ribunal also concluded that human rights and environmental laws are undermined by corporate-friendly trade and investment regulation, and that ‘Ecocide’ should be recognised as a crime in international law.
The judges stated that if Ecocide were recognised in international criminal law, ‘the activities of Monsanto could possibly constitute a crime of Ecocide’.
Reason for Tribunal
The International Monsanto Tribunal is a unique ‘Opinion Tribunal’ convened by civil society to clarify the legal obligations and consequences of some of the agrochemical giant’s activities.
Critics of Monsanto claim that the company has been able to ignore the human and environmental damage caused by its products. They say the company pursues devastating activities through a systematic concealment strategy: lobbying regulators and government authorities, lying, corruption, commissioning bogus scientific studies, putting pressure on independent scientists and manipulating the press.
The aim of the Tribunal is to get a legal opinion on the environmental and health damage caused by the multinational Monsanto, add to the international debate to include the crime of Ecocide into international criminal law and give people all over the world a well documented legal file to be used in lawsuits against Monsanto and similar chemical companies.
During the hearings that took place on 15-16 October 2017 in The Hague, judges received testimonies related to the six questions posed to the Tribunal.
The legal opinion delivered by the Tribunal includes a legal analysis of the questions asked, with respect to both existing and prospective international law, with a view to making improvements in international human rights and environmental law.