Crimes against Future Generations: Harnessing the Potential of Individual Criminal Accountability for Global Sustainability

McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Vol. 7(2), p. 115-155, 2017

42 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2017

See all articles by Sébastien Jodoin

Sébastien Jodoin

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Yolanda Saito

McGill University - Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL)

Date Written: March 28, 2012

Abstract

The existing approach of states to the global objective of sustainable development evinces a clear failure to address acts and conduct that are unsustainable in fundamental ways. Populations around the world are experiencing the contamination of their freshwater sources and critical ecosystems, the embezzlement of state resources, the forced labour of children and women, and the discriminatory denial of access to food, shelter, medical care, education, and cultural freedoms without adequate legal recourse. This article argues that serious violations of the International Covenant of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and severe environmental damage can strike at the very foundations of the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development. It outlines the legal foundations and possible legal pathways of a new crime under international law aimed at acts and conduct that have severe consequences on the long-term health, safety and means of survival of any identifiable group or collectivity of humans. Crimes against future generations recognizes the power of individual criminal liability to fill the current governance gap that provides the permissive environment for transnational corporations and states to deny populations the basic living and environmental conditions to take first steps towards their own sustainable development.

Suggested Citation

Jodoin, Sébastien and Saito, Yolanda, Crimes against Future Generations: Harnessing the Potential of Individual Criminal Accountability for Global Sustainability (March 28, 2012). McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Vol. 7(2), p. 115-155, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2942145 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2942145

Sébastien Jodoin (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.mcgill.ca/law/about/profs/jodoin-sebastien

Yolanda Saito

McGill University - Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) ( email )

Montreal, Quebec
Canada

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