Emerging Law on Future Generations and Ecocide

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Emerging Law on Future Generations and Ecocide
People’s Tribunal
Australia 7 july- 2h a.m.
Emilie GAILLARD
University of Caen
Emerging International Law :
Future Generations & Ecocide
Mister President
Mrs President ,
Members of the Court
20 years ago, the General Assembly of the United Nations requested the International
Court of Justice urgently to render its advisory opinion on the following question :
« Is the threat or use of nuclear weapons in any
circumstance permitted under international law » ?
The very question of survival of humankind was raised by Mr Mittal from India,
who supported this resolution in order to move the world community closer towards
the goal of eliminating once and for all the danger of a nuclear war, thereby ensuring
that our generation as well as future generations are free from the ever present
and growing threat to their survival from such a war » (M. MITTAL, A/C.1/35/PV 35,
p.10).
In the advisory opinion delivered on July 8th, 1996 the treats identified by the parties
were essentially of two types :
1. Threat to the survival of mankind
2. Threat to the life sustaining system
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Today, in 2016, I would like to analyse these through two actual and emerging
concepts in international law :
1. The first one is the concept of future generations.
Which has already been studied by some judges in their dissenting opinions in
1996.
Today, the law for future generations has grown and is now well integrated in
several branches of international law.
I’ll also emphazise on the fact that the threat to the survival of mankind can
also be analysed through emerging perspectives in law :
-
The emerging legal imperative of protection or survival of
mankind through time and space. Of course this protection is interrelied to the protection of the environment and of the life sustaining
-
system.
the rights of future generations and the concept of crimes against
future generations
2. The second one is rather an emerging concept in international criminal
law, which is ecocide. As I will explain further, this concept can provides us a
new legal frame for ensuring the protection of the environment against the
threat or use of nuclear weapons
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I. FROM AN INTERGENERATIONAL EQUITY
TO AN INTERNATIONAL LAW PROTECTING FUTURE
GENERATIONS
A.
GENEALOGIE OF THE CONCEPT OF FUTURE GENERATIONS IN
INTERNATIONAL LAW
Every society make choices and we can identify values by identifying legal concepts
which are inscribed in law. With the concept of future generations, we entered in a new
civilizational era : the integration of an imperative of transgenerational responsibility.
The very concept of future generations has grown both international environmental (1)
and human rights law (2).
1. Genealogy in international environmental law
- It is possible to find some expressions of the goal of protecting future generations at
the international level from 1893.
Indeed, in the Bering Fur Seals Case, which has been submitted to an arbitration, the very
question of the protection in the interest of humanity in a transgenerational
perspective was raised.
But at that time, even if the concept was somehow present, it was not at that time a legal
concept with legal consequences
- After WW2, undoubtedly, the entry into the nuclear era accelerated the process to
figure out the concept of Mankind at the international level.
As professor René-Jean Dupuy stated: “the concept of humanity includes the one of future
generations”. It is a concept which is inscribed in a concept of History-promises
=> that is to say a concept of History with a common future.
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- The emergence of the concept of common heritage of humankind marks a new
step: Nations, worldwide, were sharing for the first time a new legal imaginary
frame.
I qualify this kind of concept as “matrix concepts” : that is to say, that they open the way
to the apparition of the concept of future generations because they have the ability
to generate this very specific concept. The concept of “General interest of
humanity” which is a key concept in international law is also a matrix concept of
the one of future generations. It has the ability to open the legal imaginary to new
goals of protection through time and space and out of the paradigm of State
Nations.
- With the progression of international environmental law, the concept of future
generations became more and more evident. There is no use to create nor to
defend the environment at the international level if we do not have a
conscience of responsibility through time and space.
This imperative of transgenerational protection became all the more evident and
unavoidable because of the new vulnerability of Mankind and of the environment.
This is a strong paradox: it is because we humankind has to face a brand new
vulnerability that the concept of future generations became all the more
necessary.
- After the Stockholm Declaration, the concept of future generations was regularly
inscribed in the preamble of international conventions.
- A 1980 UN Resolution was adopted and stated “the Historical Responsibility of States
for the preservation of Nature for present and future generations”. I shall
emphasize on the fact that this Historical responsibility is a civilizational
Responsibility.
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International Environmental Law is a way to face this issue of civilization.
- A new legal frame of moral responsibility towards future generations was then built: the
Charter for the nature in 1982, the 1992 Rio Declaration opened the way for a law
protecting the future.
- During the 1990’s, the concept of future generations participated to the definition of the
goal of sustainable development (water, biodiversity protections) and was
inscribed in the 1992 UN Climate Change Convention.
- In the same time, the doctrine of intergenerational equity has been formulated in a book
intituled “In Fairness to Future Generations”. Based on an pionner analysis of
international law, professor Edith Brown Weiss, identified general principles of
intergenerational equity : the principle of conservation of options, of quality and
of acces to the common planetary heritage.
Progressively, the concept of future generations integrated the corpus of international
treaties and of regional treaties. It is rooted in the preservation instinct of
humankind.
- An other process of evolution has to be identified in international caselaw. For the first
time, the ICJ had to consider transgenerational threats and contaminations. Either
in the 1973 case on French nuclear test case or in the 1995 Gabcikovo-Nagymaros
case, the legal logics were inscribed in a short termism frame.
For example, in the second case, the concept of ecological necessity was rather founded
on a precautionary context and still, the ICJ asked for certainty and proof of
certainties whereas the danger was of environmental time scale and of very
anticipation nature.
In the 1996, ICJ Advisory opinion:
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§28. Some states argued « that the principal purpose of environmental treaties and norms
was the protection of the environment in time of peace. It was said that those treaties
made no mention of nuclear weapons. It was also pointed out that warfare in general,
and nuclear warfare in particular, were not mentioned in their texts and that it would be
destabilizing to the rule of law and to confidence in international negotiations if those
treaties were now interpreted in such a way as to prohibit the use of nuclear weapons
In 2016, this cannot be argued anymore !
Indeed, the legal imperative to protect the environment is now inscribed in many
constitutions around the world=> duties to respect the environment but also, as I will
explain later, due to the progression of new fundamental rights which protect the
environment (either for individuals or for the people of a country!).
This can be understood by keeping in mind that international human rights law
entered also in processes of major transformations.
2. Genealogy in international human rights law
- The ICJ Advisory opinion recalled that the goal of preserving future generations is
inscribed in the Preamble of Charter of San Francisco “We, the people of the
united nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of
war”.
This means that the very concept of peace at the international level shall then be
analysed through a transgenerational perspective.
- In 1948, the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a historical step :
it open the way to a new way of thinking human rights
*First, it is the first text which transposes the concept of human right at the international
level
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* Second, it is a Text which recognizes ” the inherent dignity and of the equal and
inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of
freedom, justice and peace in the world”.
This sentence opened the way to a concept of recognition of dignity for future
generations in the international imaginary of human rights law.
The concept of human family should be kept in mind.
Articles 28 to 39 of the UDHR recognize duties of man toward the community.
There are new limits that no man shall exceed: notably, the infringement of international
public order no well being of democratic society, neither to the principles of the
UN.
-In both the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights & on economic,
social and cultural Rights, it is interesting to emphazise on the fact that there has
been a reverse in the dynamic of promotion human rights in the interest of the
world human community.
Both preambles refer to the concept of “human family” but all the human rights
proclaimed are thought and implemented in a limited temporal matrix. There is no
room for the recognition of human rights for future generations.
Nevertheless, we shall now identify various processes of metamorphosis in
international law which tend to confirm that there is enough roots for the
recognition of an international law protecting future generations
B. THE EXISTENCE OF AN INTERNATIONAL LAW PROTECTING FUTURE
GENERATIONS
1. Several branches of international law as laws for future generations
a) International environmental law = law for future generations
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There is a strong convergence of change of way of thinking international law which tend
to protect future generations too in international environmental and human rights
law.
- There is a wide literature on the question of the recognition of rights of future
generations. For some professors, it is a founding principle of international
environmental law.
There is no real reason to deny to future generations any recognition of human rights in
the future.
- It is a projection through time of the concept of “interest of humankind”.
- If we make attention to the actual dissemination of environmental law from the
international to national levels, it is obvious that the imperative of respect the future is
integrated and shared by a vast majority of States around the world.
Even for those who are reluctant to the recognition of a law protecting future
generations, it is hard do deny the existence at least of an international customary
law which tends to protect the environment and future generations.
- The concept of sustainable development is a concept which implies political, social and
legal choices in the very long run.
- In the 1996 advisory opinion the ICJ stated that its conclusion was "without
prejudice to the obligations of States to respect and protect the natural
environment" (Order of 22 September 1995, I. C. J. Reports 1995, p. 306, para. 64).
This means that States have a Duty of care and of respect toward the environment :
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- With the threat and use of nuclear weapons we are living in an estate of eternal
suspended war. If the quest for peace is the cornerstone of the UN Charter, then nuclear
weapons should be destructed and forbidden considering the goal of universal peace.
Next week in New York, will be held a High Level Political Forum on Sustainable
Development : the question of threat or use of nuclear weapons could be discussed
there!
How can we just still today discuss of the legitimacy of the threat or use of nuclear
weapons when the States are engaged to pursue an objective of sustainable develpment ?
b) International humanitarian law = law for future generations
Several principles and founding concepts of International Humanitarian Law should be
analysed through a transgenerational perspective.
-> Principle of distinction is infringed by the threat of use or use of nuclear weapons
: it is all the more infringed that it does not make any difference between human
livings and non human livings
It is all the more infringed that it could contaminate at cosmic timescales commons goods
such as the oceans, the atmosphere…
-> Principe of non discrimination is infringed because of the transtemporal and
transpatial effects.
 Preventing shortages of goods essential to the survival of the population.
This include : foodstuffs, agricultural areas, crops, livestock, drinking water
installations and supplies => With radioactive contamination, there is obviously
an attempt to essential goods to the survival of present and future population.
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2. Several gaps between traditional legal logics and the protection of future
generations by international law
- I shall quote the 1996 ICJ Advisory opinion :
§28. Some states argued « that the principal purpose of environmental treaties and norms
was the protection of the environment in time of peace. It was said that those treaties
made no mention of nuclear weapons. It was also pointed out that warfare in general,
and nuclear warfare in particular, were not mentioned in their texts and that it would be
destabilizing to the rule of law and to confidence in international negotiations if those
treaties were now interpreted in such a way as to prohibit the use of nuclear weapons
In 2016, this cannot be argued anymore !
Indeed, the legal imperative to protect the environment is now inscribed in many
constitutions around the world=> duties to respect the environment but also new
fundamental rights to protect the environment (either for individuals or for the
people of a country!). These are asymmetrical legal protections which can only be
recognized and implemented by instituting legal duties toward the environment and
future generations.
This cannot be all the more asserted, since there is a strong process of transformation
which tend to recognize the right to a healthy environment, and the right to the
environment as new major human rights.
This cannot be all the more asserted since, the very concept of dignity has now to be put
into perspective with the concept of future generations. Briefly, this very original and
specific link between dignity and future generations has been initiated by the 1972
Stockholm Declaration.
If we make the intellectual conversion to integrate the long term in our analysis it
becomes obvious that international human rights law has to be greened !
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§29
The Court recognizes that the environment is under daily threat and that the use of
nuclear weapons could constitute a catastrophe for the environment.
 Here, the ICJ qualifies the threat and the use of nuclear weapons of
« CATASTROPHE »
 A catastrophe has a very precise Definition : it changes our human
condition because when it occurs, there is a REVERSE of History !
This means that the future has no more future !
In other terms, there is a anthropological gap between an accident (which is
reversible and opens the way to resilience) and a catastrophe (which closes the
horizons of future and, in the meantine, any process of resilience).
I shall quote the philosopher Jean-Pierre Dupuy who explains that there is a paradox
inscribed into the very concept of catastrophe.
SHOW
Catastrophes are characterized by this temporality that is in some sense inverted.
As an event bursting forth out of nothing, the catastrophe becomes possible only by
"possibilizing" itself and that is precisely the source of our problem.
For if one is to prevent a catastrophe, one needs to believe in its possibility before it
occurs. If, on the other hand, one succeeds in preventing it, its non-realization
maintains it in the realm of the impossible, and as a result, the prevention efforts will
appear useless in retrospect »
In other terms,
- we have the moral obligation to prevent a catastrophe
- In order to make it possible, we have to trust in the possibility of this
catastrophe
- But if you do the anticipation job correctly, it can appear of no use !
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=> keep in mind with the case of preventing from threat or use of nuclear weapons!
This analysis proposed by the philosopher should be integrated in international
environmental law !
§. 27, the use of nuclear weapons is unlawful by reference to existing norms relating
to the safeguarding and the protection of the environment
in international law : States have a duty « to ensure that activities within their
jurisdiction or control do not damage to the environment of other States or of areas
beyond the limits of national jurisdiction »
There is still today, a short time analysis and a biais in analysis. By virtue of this
principle, it is not only the use of nuclear weapons that should be forbidden but also all
nuclear powerplants because they are synonymous of activities which can cause damage
to the environment of other States
•
First example: the Tchernobyl’s nuclear cloud didn’t know any boundaries in
space nor in time ! Today we have still to deplore contaminated zones for
cosmic timescales!
• Second exemple, Fukushima is a dramatic school case which is currently and will
still be at work in “time of peace”. Event though in the preamble of the 2015
Sendaï Declaration, article 1 stated that the organization of the third UN
conference World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, (…) in Sendai City
of Miyagi Prefecture in Japan, has demonstrated a vibrant recovery from the
Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011” => Japan is now facing a terrible
nuclear contamination of its country.
For example, balls of micrometers of glass with cesium 134 and 137 has been
found in dust in Tokyo. Japanese children are developing cancers. This is the
terrible reality of nuclear contamination : the concept of history is reversed!
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• In international law, I shall quote the Sendaï Framework for Disaster Risk
Reduction adopted for 2015-2030 which aims at protecting both present and
future generations. Still, it is grounded on the postulate of resilience of nations
& communities.
• I made a statement in Sendaï in order to recall that in a context of catastrophe,
there is no resilience at all, and forever!
With nuclear disasters there is no resilience at all !
Some studies tend to assert that even a small exchange of nuclear weapons
between two States could lead to a CLIMATE MEDIATED NUCLEAR FAMINE.
Statement Andreas Nidecker : IPPNW
(International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War)
« Recent meteorological research by Roebuck & Toon (University of Colorado/USA),
based on new climate models indicates that even a limited nuclear war e.g. in south Asia,
with a few nuclear weapons, would lead to a significant sooth, dust and ash amount
lifted into the atmosphere to create a major filtering effect for sunlight lasting up to ten
years. This would have the effect of measurable shortening of the agriculture growth
times in the entire Northern hemisphere.
As a consequence this could lead to a major decrease of the rice and grain reserves of the
affected countries which would provoke widespread famine for up to 1 billion people.
Thus, the term « nuclear famine » was coined.
We suggest that « climate mediated nuclear famine » should be included in the
context of « man made disasters ».
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To conclude : With an exchange of nuclear weapons, we enter into the possibility to
close the horizons of future, to downgrade the very concept of human rights into
obsolescence. This can be named as The TRAGEDY OF HUMAN RIGHTS : no
more human rights can exist in case of nuclear catastrophe.
- In the advisory opinion, the ICJ recognized that the specificity of the threat or use
of nuclear weapons was synonymous of a risk of catastrophe. It did not draw the
consequences of its own ascertainment.
The Court also recognizes that the environment is not an abstraction but represents
the living space, the quality of life and the very health of human beings, including
generations unborn.
THE ICJ ruled that the environment represents the living space of future generations too !
by stating that, it should have ruled that the right to life, the right to a healthy environment
are transgenerational human rights.
In other terms, condemning the living space, the quality of life and the very health of
future generations SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED at anytime !
By itself, this sentence can just lead to the conclusion that the threat of use and the
use of nuclear weapons is an infringement of the human rights of future generations.
The responsible answer of the law to face a catastrophe is an imperative of respect of
the survival of humankind and the environment.
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II. TOWARDS THE RECOGNITION OF NEW LEGAL
FRAMES PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT IN
INTERNATIONAL LAW ?
New legal frames, new legal logics :
- Anticipation : Reparation is of no use in case of nuclear war. The only way is to pave the
way to a higher level of anticipation of nuclear catastrophe.
-
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Relecture arrêt CIJ
§24 : Infringement of the right to life = arbitrary deprivation of life = contrary to
article 6
=> démontrer que le droit à la vie est désormais à lire de manière
transgénérationnelle
Atteinte au droit à la vie tel que protégé par le Pacte international des droits civils et
politiques
§26. Selon la CIJ, l’utilisation d’une arme nucléaire pour tomber sous le coup de
l’incrimination de génocide suppose une étude des circonstances de l’espèce
 we can argue that the threat of using nuclear weapons is, in itself,
intentionality
 that the use of nuclear weapons has the potentiality to lead to a multiple
genocide
the Disaster of Fukushima is still an ongoing disater ! Recently we discovered that there
are micro billes de verres pleines de cesium 13 ? et 137 jusqu’à TOKYO : ces
poussières radioactives ne manquent pas de contaminer l’environnement, la population, la
chaîne du vivant, les générations futures !
§30. Respect for the environment is one of the elements that go to assessing whether
an action is in conformity with the principles of necessity and proportionality. This
approach is supported, indeed, by the terms of Principle 24 of the Rio Declaration,
which provides that :
"Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States shall
therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in
times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary."
§35.
By its very nature, that process, in nuclear weapons as they exist today, releases not
only immense quantities of heat and energy, but also powerful and prolonged
radiation. According to the material before the Court, the first two causes of damage
are vastly more powerful than the damage caused by other weapons, while the
phenomenon of radiation is said to be peculiar to nuclear weapons. These
characteristics render the nuclear weapon potentially catastrophic.
The destructive power of nuclear weapons cannot be contained in either space or
time. They have the potential to destroy all civilization and the entire ecosystem of
the planet.
Bases => disaster / catastrophe
Threat and destruction of Humankind & future generations
Threat and destruction of civilization => future civilizations => major difference with
Paul Valéry « we now know that cilizations are mortelles »
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 an exchange of nuclear weapons will destroy human societies,
 an small exchange of nuclear weapons can lead to a « famine nucléaire » causing
major and systemic infringement of human rights through time and space
 a major exchange of nuclear weapons can lead to the destruction of a part of our
civilization
 a mega exchange of nuclear weapons (intentionnally or not- there are some places
where the nuclear weapons are stocked ! just imagine what could be a multiple
disaster with nuclear weapons !) => destruction of humankind but also of all the
livings at cosmic timescales !
 the simple threat of use of nuclear weapons is an insult to decades of building of :
o international environmental law,
o international human rights law,
o international humanitarian law,
o international criminal emerging law (crimes against future
generations/Ecocide)
o international war law
o international …. Reprendre la thèse sur ces sujets !
(…) §35
The radiation released by a nuclear explosion would affect health, agriculture,
natural resources and demography over a very wide area.
Further, the use of nuclear weapons would be a serious danger to future
generations. Ionizing radiation has the potential to damage the future
environment, food and marine ecosystem, and to cause genetic defects and illness
in future generations.
§36. In consequence, in order correctly to apply to the present case the Charter law
on the use of force and the law applicable in armed conflict, in particular
humanitarian law, it is imperative for the Court to take account of the unique
characteristics of nuclear weapons, and in particular their destructive capacity,
their capacity to cause untold human suffering, and their ability to cause damage to
generations to come.
= Transgenerational damages !
article dessus => again la Cour n’a pas tiré de ses propres constatations les
conséquences légales
A dommages transgénérationnels, répond un impératif de responsabilité
transgénérationnelle qui intègre donc le respect des droits et de l’environnement des
générations futures !
A contamination transpatiales, transtemporelles de la chaîne alimentaire, du vivant
humain et non humain, répond un impératif de responsabilité transpatiale et
transtemporelle qui requiert le respect absolu de l’intégrité du vivant et de la sûreté
de la planète.
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Avec l’arme nucléaire nous sommes entrés dans une nouvelle ère avec un spectre des
possibilités =
1. a tout le moins, dans la simple hypothèse d’une menace de l’utilisation des
armes nucléaires, l’humanité est placée sous le sceau d’une totale impuissance
à être protéger. La doctrine de la dissuasion nucléaire est dépassée à l’heure
du dépassement du paradigme de l’Etat Nation (terrorisme ! qui intimider ?)
Les tenants militaires de la doctrine de la dissuasion nucléaire reconnaissent
eux-mêmes que cette doctrine doit être repensée à l’heure du terrorisme ! A
l’époque l’idée était d’être en capacité de menacer à tout moment un Etat en
guise de réplique en cas de destruction nucléaire de son Etat . Par exemple :
56 millions de personnes tuées ? et bien la réponse sera d’au moins autant de
morts en réplique nucléaire
2. tout au plus, une catastrophe nucléaire de grande ampleur conduit de
manière certaine à la contamination durable, c’est à dire éternelle à l’échelle
de vie humaine, de l’environnement, de la chaîne alimentaire et des êtres
vivants.
Les connaissances en matière de dommages transgénérationnels liés à la
contamination radioactive sont désormais suffisantes ! Nous savons que les
dommages génétiques liés à une contamination nucléaire s’accentuent de
génération en génération
Nous savons que les personnes exposées à des catastrophes nucléaires meurent
de cancers…
Nous savons que la contamination de l’environnement est de celle qui ne
s’efface pas ni ne s’oublie
Avec la catastrophe nucléaire, la Verité sur l’étendue transgénérationnelle et
le caractère écocidaire des armes, ne peuvent qu’éclater !
Pour rappel aujourd’hui au Japon 200 000 Enfants sont déjà atteints de
cancer de la thyroïde ! Va-t-on rester sourd, aveugle et muet face à une
catastrophe « soit disant arrivée en temps de paix » ? alors qu’il s’agit de
crimes contre l’humanité, contre les générations futures et contre
l’environnement ?
En temps de guerre, une telle situation n’est pas plus légitime !
Vous comprenez : la logique en termes d’affrontements entre des Etats est
aujourd’hui révolue
La logique selon laquelle le droit applicable en temps de paix ou en temps de
guerre est également dépassée !
Avec le dommage nucléaire, il n’y a pas d’oubli possible ! I shall recall that
the very concept of « prescription » does exist because of a postulate by virtue
of it is of the interest of the society to forget
Préciser avec la thèse
With nuclear weapons => there is no possibility to forget ! We hide the
hibakushas, the poor irradiated women were double victims ! rejected by
society !
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With nuclear weapons => there is a processus of closing the horizons of
future ! it is a total infringement of rights in a transgenerational perspective !
One cannot admit to forbid individual crimes and to allow transgenerational
crimes !
Il faut intégrer la jp sur le principe de précaution en droit international de
l’environnement absolument !
§46. Certain States asserted that the use of nuclear weapons in the conduct of
reprisals would be lawful. The Court does not have to examine, in this context, the
question of armed reprisals in time of peace, which are considered to be unlawful.
Nor does it have to pronounce on the question of belligerent reprisals save to
observe that in any case any right of recourse to such reprisals would, like selfdefence, be governed inter alia by the principle of proportionality.
This means that the condition of proportionality when a State uses nuclear weapon
can only occur in an exchange of nuclear weapons between states => undoutedly, i
will infringe the principle of international law d’utilisation non dommageable du
territoire national.
Parler du principe de non régression =>
En anglais ?
Définition ?
§.50 : threat or use of nuclear weapon within a state’s boundaries => no studied, = a
state which would commit suicide !
§59. The Security Council, in unanimously adopting resolution 984 (1995) of 11 April
1995, cited above, took note of those statements with appreciation. It also recognized
"that the nuclear-weapon State permanent members of the Security Council will
bring the matter immediately to the attention of the Council and seek Council action
to provide, in accordance with the Charter, the necessary assistance to the State
victim";
=> parler de conflits d’intérêts = les Etats qui siègent au Conseil de sécurité
One can ask wether there is a kind of « conflict of interest » within the UN
organization ? The nuclear power states are also permanent member of the UN
Security Council ! EU, France, Chine
 development of nuclear weapon free zones => Latin america + Pacific
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// Convention de Montego Bay = Zone = patrimoine commun de l’humanité
(reprendre traduction en anglais)
+ non nuclear weapons States parties of the Treaty of non proliferation of
nuclear weapons
 idée = validité de ces traités = sujette à la bonne volonté des 8 Etats
officiellemen détenteurs de l’arme nucléaire
 nuclear free zone doctrine = put into perspective avec principe of
transgenerational responsability too
§63 : growing awareness the need to liberate the community of States and the
international public from the dangers resulting from the existence of nuclear
weapons
all the more today !
§66. They recall that they have always, in concert with certain other States, reserved
the right to use those weapons in the exercise of the right to self-defence against an
armed attack threatening their vital security interests.
The vital security interests of one nuclear weapon state cannot be superior of the
interest of surrounding non nuclear states, future generations and the environment !
Doctrine of public trust applied to the environment => protection in the long run of
the environment ! => explain !
Face responsability toward History =>cf. conclusion statement à Sendaï
§. 74. The question whether recourse to nuclear weapons must be considered as
illegal in the light of the principles and rules of international humanitarian law
applicable in armed conflict and of the law of neutrality.
Approche de précaution = de droit international public
Concept de paix durable (article in paix et constitutions !)
§. 79. many rules of humanitarian law applicable in armed conflict are so
fundamental to the respect of the human person and "elementary considerations of
humanity" as the Court put it in its Judgment of 9 April 1949 in the Covfu Channel
case (1. C. J. Reports 1949, p. 22)
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elementary considerations of humanity => has to be thought about in a
transgenerational perspective => elementary considerations of respect the principal
of survival of humanity !
// Declaration universelle des droits de l’humanité !
Further these fundamental rules are to be observed by all States whether or not they
have ratified the conventions that contain them, because they constitute
intransgressible principles of international customary law.
The principle of survival of humankind and of the environment through time and
space can only be part ot the intransgressible principles of international customary
law
// noyau irréductible des droits de l’homme => droits de l’humanité
//
§86. New Zealand Statement :
The fundamenal principles of International humanitarian law tend to mitigate and
circumscribe the cruelty of war for humanitarian reasons." (New Zealand, Written
Statement, p. 15, paras. 63-64.)
§96. The Court cannot lose sight of the fundamental right of every State to survival,
and thus its right to resort to self-defence
// à mettre en perspective avec le principe intransgressible de survie de l’humanité !
§97. the Court is led to observe that it cannot reach a definitive conclusion as to the
egality or illegality of the use of nuclear weapons by a State in an extreme
circumstance of self-defence, in which its very survival would be at stake.
// principe supérieur de survie de l’humanité => risques transgénérationnels !
impératif de respect des générations futures et de l’environnement
de la même manière que le droit international humanitaire posent des principes de
non discrimination et de neutralité => ici nouvelle échelle d’application : principe de
non discrimination temporelle (à définir !) et de neutralité par rapport à
l’environnement (respect d’un nouvel élément jusqu’alors exterieur aux mondes du
droit et désormais pleinement intégré au plus haut de la hiérarchie des normes des
Etats
processus d’internormativité = > si les lois fondamentales de la plupart des Etats du
monde intègre l’environnement comme nouvel impératif de protection légitime du
droit, alors inconstablement, avec progression du droit international de
l’environnement en retour , pas possible de mettre à mal des décennies de
densification normative du DIE .
Conclusion = nouvelle ère de métamorphose du droit international y compris
humanitaire => prise en compte de l’avenir de l’humanité, de la question de la survie
de l’humanité et intégration de l’impératif de respect de la condition humaine future
21
Ceci dans une approche qui ne soit pas anthropocentrique car n’aurait aucun sens !
le respect de l’environnement, ce que d’autres appelleraient les droits de la nature ou
encore de la Pachamama selon leurs cosmovisions => supposent de manière tout
aussi évidente de ne pas nuire durablement à l’environnement
= crimes contre les générations futures
le nucléaire = crime environnemental majeur car tue sans discrimination à travers le
temps et l’espace le patrimoine génétique de tout être vivant avec une aggravation du
processus de dommages à travers les générations
§99-100 = obligation de négocier de bonne foi
the obligation involved here is an obligation to achieve a precise result - nuclear
disarmament in all its aspects - by adopting a particular course of conduct, namely,
the pursuit of negotiations on the matter in good faith.
Good faith = conduite à l’avant garde du désarmement nucléaire !
Combien d’Etats parties au TNPN ?
Idée = construction du paradigme d’humanité en droit international => paradigme
qui tienne en respect through time and space, humankind, future generations, the
environmen, species and what sustains life
Dispositif de l’arrêt de la CIJ :
However, in view of the current state of international law, and of the elements of
fact at its disposal, the Court cannot conclude definitively whether the threat or use
of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of selfdefence, in which the very survival of a State would be at stake
I. FROM THE CONCEPT OF FUTURE GENERATIONS
INTERNATIONAL LAW PROTECTING THE FUTURE
TO
AN
It is possible to identify an international law protecting future generations.
p.228 : intergenerational
responsability : http://www.rug.nl/research/portal/files/3265510/h8.pdf`
22
COMMENCER PAR LE DROIT INTERNATIONAL DES GENERATIONS FUTURES =>
DÉMONTRER QU IL EST PARVENU A MATURITÉ POUR DESORMAIS REPONDRE DE
MANIERE RENOUVELEE A LA QUESTION POSEE
SE FONDER SUR DU DROIT INTERNATIONAL DUR
ET CONCLURE PAR RAPPORT A L’AVIS CIJ
Ne pas oublier les statuts de la CPI et le concept de crime contre l’humanité
Article 7: Crimes against humanity
1.
For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the
following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack
directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
(a)
Murder;
(b)
Extermination;
(c)
Enslavement;
(d)
Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in
violation of fundamental rules of international law;
(f)
Torture;
(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced
sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political,
racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or
other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under
international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any
crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
(i)
Enforced disappearance of persons;
(j)
The crime of apartheid;
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great
suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
2.
For the purpose of paragraph 1:
23
(a) "Attack directed against any civilian population" means a course of
conduct involving the multiple commission of acts referred to in paragraph 1
against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or
organizational policy to commit such attack;
(b) "Extermination" includes the intentional infliction of conditions of life,
inter alia the deprivation of access to food and medicine, calculated to bring about
the destruction of part of a population;
(c) "Enslavement" means the exercise of any or all of the powers attaching
to the right of ownership over a person and includes the exercise of such power in
the course of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children;
(d) "Deportation or forcible transfer of population" means forced
displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from
the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under
international law;
(e) "Torture" means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering,
whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the control of
the accused; except that torture shall not include pain or suffering arising only
from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions;
(f) "Forced pregnancy" means the unlawful confinement of a woman
forcibly made pregnant, with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of any
population or carrying out other grave violations of international law. This
definition shall not in any way be interpreted as affecting national laws relating to
pregnancy;
(g) "Persecution" means the intentional and severe deprivation of
fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the
group or collectivity;
(h) "The crime of apartheid" means inhumane acts of a character similar
to those referred to in paragraph 1, committed in the context of an
institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial
group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of
maintaining that regime;
(i) "Enforced disappearance of persons" means the arrest, detention or
abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, a
State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that
deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those
persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a
prolonged period of time.
24
3.
For the purpose of this Statute, it is understood that the term "gender"
refers to the two sexes, male and female, within the context of society. The term
"gender" does not indicate any meaning different from the above.
II. EMERGING LAW & THE PROGRESSION OF THE ECOCIDE CONCEPT
Ecocide is an emerging concept that I would like to assess :
A. International environmental Law
The international environmental law is now well shaped :
There are general principles and various conventions which can be applied.
International Environmental Law =>
1. Goal = sustainable development
= a goal shared since Declaration of Rio 1992
definition
=>
2. Duties, and general principles of International Environmental Law
a) Principle of sovereignty and of respect of the environment of other States :
= principe d’utilisation non dommageable du territoire national
= extend to commons goods such as high sea, atmosphere.. for example
principe 21 Rio Declaration => process of normative densification = is now considered
as part of international customary law
b) Duties of the states to respect and to preserve the environment
Cf. article 192 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
 States have the obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment
25
c) International Cooperation in order to protect the environment
d) Dutie to inform in case of activities which can cause disasters effects to the
environment of other States
e) Principle of prevention
Evaluation of the activities
Environmental Monitoring
f) Precautionary principle
g) The polluteur-payes principle
3. Key concepts of international environmental law
Common interest/ general interest of humanity
Humankind common heritage
Future Generations ‘s Law
Article 1. f the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of
Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD) states that :
Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to engage in military or any other
hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or
severe effects as the means of destruction, damage or injury to any other State Party.
B. International Humanitarian Law
a) Principle of distinction =>
Attacks against « biens indispensables à la survie de la population » (article. 54
GPI, art .14 GPII)
Attacks against ouvrages et installations contenant des forces dangereuses et
causant des dommages à l’environnement qui compromettent la santé ou la survie
de la population (GPI at. 5 et 56 et GPII art. 15)
Attacks against « zones démilitarisées ou neutres et contre les lieux non défendus
sont interdites » (GIV art . 15 GPI art. 60)
ICC adopted in july 1998 , entré en vigueur July 1st, 2002
War crimes => art 8 =>
3ème : le fait de causer intentionnellement =>
They can also be recognised as crimes against Humanity
26
Article 51 Protocole additionnel I 1977=> definitions of undiscriminated attack
 attacks which are non directed against a determinated military objective
 attacks by bombing
 infringement of the principle of proportionality :
b) Protection des ouvrages et installations contenant des forces dangereuses
 cf. Article 8 des statuts de la CPI => war crimes.
1.
The Court shall have jurisdiction in respect of war crimes in particular
when committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission
of such crimes.
Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed
conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the
following acts:
(i) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or
against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities;
(ii)
Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects
which are not military objectives;
(iii) Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material,
units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping mission in
accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, as long as they are entitled to the
protection given to civilians or civilian objects under the international law of armed
conflict;
(iv)
Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such
attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian
objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment
which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall
military advantage anticipated;
b) Precautions before attacks
Crimes de guerre/ Crimes contre l’humanité
Avril 2013 : 122 Etats ont ratifiés la convention de Rome
IDENTIFIER LES SPECIFICITES DES DOMMAGES CAUSES A L,ENVIRONNEMENT
PARLER DES CHAMPS DE PENSES IGNORES, INCONNUS, DES NOUVELLES POLLUTIONS
DIFFUSES =< FUKUSHIMA
27
QUE LE RECOURS A L ARME NUCLEAIRE CONTREVIENT PLUS QUE TOUT : A UDELA DU
CRIME , AUX FRONTIERES CRIMES CONTRE LES GENERATIONS FUTURES MAIS AUSSI
CONTRE L’ENVIRONNEMENT
BIEN DISTINGUER DE LAPPROCHE DEEP ECOLOGY
NOUVELLE CONSCIENCE DE RESPONSABILITÉ ENVERS LA NATURE
CF COSMOGONIE DES PEUPLES INDIGENES
ET DONC => RESPECT DE CE QUI SUPPORTE LA VIE DE MANIERE PERENNE
AUCUNE ESPECE NE DISCUTE LE PRINCIPE DE LA REPRODUCTION, AUCUNE ESPECE
NE DETRUIT COMME NOUS LE FAISONS SON PROPRE ECOSYSTEME SA CONDITION
HUMAINE FUTURE DANS CES DIMENSIONS
INSISTER SUR LE FAIT QU’IL EST GRAND TEMPS QUE NOUS APPRENIONS DES
ERREURS DU PASSE, DES CHAMPS D’IMPENSES DU PASSÉ => CF. L’ENFOUISSEMENT
DES ARMES CHIMIQUES DE LA SECONDE GUERRE MONDIALE DANS NOS OCEANS =>
RAPPELER LES CHIFFRES = INSISTER SUR L’IMPENSE ET LES POLLUTIONS
TRANSGENERATIONNELLES
CONCLUSION : CE SONT D’ANCIENNES LOGIQUES DE DOMINATION ET DE COURSES AU
TOUJOURS PLUS QUI ONT ETE APPLIQUEES DANS UNE TECHNOLOGIE QUI DEPASSE
NOS FACULTES DE PENSER :
LA SEULE DETENTION DES ARMES NUCLÉAIRE NOUS FAIT ENTRER DANS UNE ÈRE
NOUVELLE = CELLE DE LA MENACE TOTALE ET DE LA TOTALE IMPUISSANCE (CITER
ANDERS)
= C’EST UN TOTALITARISME TECHNOLOGIQUE JUSQU’ALORS ENTRE LES MAINS DES
ETATS MAIS QUI EST EN VOIE D’ÊTRE DÉPASSÉ PAR LES MENACES CONTEMPORAINES
QUI S’INSCRIVENT EN DEHORS DU PARADIGME DE L’ETAT NATION !
risque d’emballement => it is prohibited in international humanitarian law to attack
« ouvrages et installations contenant des forces dangereurese »
- The recognition of the right to a healthy environment is a part of the international
law for future generations.
 à penser dans un contexte de pluralisme juridique = nature’s rights,
humankind’s rights, human rights of future generations, crimes against
future generations OR transgenerational crimes
28
Conclusion
In 1996, the UN General Assembly was convinced that the complete elimination of
nuclear weapons is the only guarantee against the threat of nuclear war.
One’s may recall that everything which is under our power shall not automatically be
done ! We have to integrate a higher level of conscience of responsability towards
Humankind, Future Generations, the Environment and all the non human livings.
29

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