Document Type



This dissertation puts forward the argument that violations of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights should be penalized under a criminal body of international law. The theories brought forth under this proposal stems from the field of green criminology, which explores the criminal application of law in the context of environmental protection. The concept of crimes against future generations can be the crux of new law that can be used to criminalize conduct against the interest of future populations. In an effort to maintain sustainable development which centers on environmental protection, economic protection and social development, the principle of crimes against a generation can be built on the principle of basic normative ethics that teach us to care for ourselves and others.

The underlining proposal is to establish a new sovereign international court that has the ability to supersede domestic decisions and implement international principles for the execution and enforcement of environmental protection. This dissertation argues that it is acknowledged that domestic and international regulatory instruments are semi-effective. Currently, there exists a plethora of legal instruments on environmental protection. Although bodies of law exist, as well as courts to hear violations, the current ability to stop the very worst acts of environmental destruction is nonexistent. Gross acts by corporations continue as they are largely unsanctioned. To further elaborate on the gaps and solutions proposed, this dissertation shall delve into the existing international and national legal responses to gross environmental damage and the feasibility of a new area of criminal justice.