The natural environment in times of armed conflict : a concern for international war crimes law ?
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Leiden journal of international law, Vol. 22, issue 2, 2009, p. 325-343
Article 8(2)(b)(iv), second alternative, of the Statute of the International Criminal Court lists as a war crime the launching of an attack that may cause excessive damage to the natural environment. The incorporation of this offence into the ICC Statute appears to be a great achievement, as it is the first time that such conduct has expressly been declared to entail individual criminal responsibility under an international treaty. It is, however, submitted that Article 8(2)(b)(iv), second alternative, of the ICC Statute, suffers from a serious lack of definition. In addition, the provision depends on an extremely high damage threshold which further complicates its application in practice.