Expanding the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court


  • Iman Prihandono Faculty of Law, Universitas Airlangga
  • Dewi Santoso Yuniarti Faculty of Law, Universitas Airlangga




environmental destruction, international criminal court, security council


Environmental destruction and exploitation of natural resources are some of the main causes of humanitarian conflicts, which are often international in scale. One instance was the crime of genocide conducted by Al-Bashir, which was triggered by exploitation of natural resources (resource war), causing pollution of vital water sources, and ending with conflict in Darfur, Sudan. This case is evidence that environmental destruction can be a driving factor for crimes against humanity. In response to this, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a Policy Paper, which sets out considerations to prosecute cases of environmental destruction and illegal exploitation of natural resources, which is referred to by some as ecocide. With growing demand of the international community, not only natural persons, but corporations are urged to be prosecuted before the ICC for ecocide. This research is normative legal research. It is intended to outline the current rise of demand for the ICC to prosecute cases of ecocide, whilst challenging the existing jurisdiction of the ICC based on the Rome Statute. This paper will discuss whether the ICC have jurisdiction to adjudicate ecocide, expanding the Court’s jurisdiction to prosecute corporations, and crimes conducted in and/or by citizens of States that are not members of the Rome Statute, such as Indonesia. This paper concludes with constructive recommendations for businesses to start re-evaluating their business plans to put environment and human rights awareness into priority concern.


Arsenault, Chris. “Landless Cambodian Farmers Look to International Criminal Court for Justice.” Reuters. Published November 22, 2016. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-icc-cambodia-landrights-idUSKBN13H1J9.

Bassiouni, M Cherif. Crime Against Humanity in International Criminal Law. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publication, 1992.

“‘Cambodian Villagers’ International Criminal Court Complaint (Re Land Grabbing).” Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. Published October 7, 2014. https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/cambodian-villagers-intl-criminal-court-complaint-re-land-grabbing/.

Charter of the United Nations, (signed June 26, 1945, entered into force October 24, 1945) 1 U.N.T.S. XVI.

Clapham, Andrew. “The Questions of Jurisdiction Under International Criminal Law Over Legal Persons: Lessons from the Rome Conference on an International Criminal Court.” In Liability of Multinational Corporations Under International Law, ed. Menno T. Kamminga and Saman Zia-Zarifi. Leiden: Brill, 2000.

Durney, Jessica. “Crafting a Standard: Environmental Crimes as Crimes Against Humanity Under the International Criminal Court.” Hastings Environmental Law Journal 24, no. 2 (2018).

Global Diligence LLP. ICC Cambodian Case Study (Global Diligence).

Global Diligence. “Land Grabbers May End Up In The Hague: Global Diligence Welcomes The ICC Prosecutor’s New Case Selection Policy.” Centre de Ressources sur les Entreprises et les Droits de I’Homme. Published September 15, 2016. https://www.business-humanrights.org/fr/dernières-actualités/land-grabbers-may-end-up-in-the-hague-global-diligence-welcomes-the-icc-prosecutors-new-case-selection-policy/.

“ICC Issues a Warrant of Arrest for Omar Al Bashir President of Sudan (ICC-CPI-20090304-PR394).” International Criminal Court. Published March 4, 2009. https://www.icc-cpi.int/pages/item.aspx?name=icc+issues+a+warrant+of+arrest+for+omar+al+bashir_+president+of+sudan.

International Criminal Court. Text of the Draft Statute for the International Criminal Court (1998) UN Doc. A/AC.249/1998/CRP.9.

“Indonesia's Fire and Haze Crisis.” World Bank. Published November 25, 2015. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2015/12/01/indonesias-fire-and-haze-crisis.

“Indonesia punishes 23 companies for causing forest fires.” The Jakarta Post. Published December 23, 2015. https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/12/23/indonesia-punishes-23-companies-causing-forest-fires.html.

“Joint Letter to UNHRC on Human Rights Situation in Cambodia.” Human Rights Watch. Published August 20, 2015. https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/08/20/joint-letter-unhrc-human-rights-situation-cambodia.

Koalisi Masyarakat Sipil untuk Mahkamah Pidana Internasional. ‘Mengenal ICC’ Koalisi Masyarakat Sipil Untuk Mahkamah Pidana Internasional. Jakarta: Sentralisme Production, 2009.

Lumbanrau, Raja Eben. “Di mana ada tambang di situ ada penderitaan dan kerusakan lingkungan, nelangsa warga dan alam di lingkar tambang.” BBC News Indonesia. Published June 7, 2021. https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/indonesia-5734684.

Office of the Prosecutor. Policy Paper on Case Selection and Prioritisation. The Hague: International Criminal Court, 2016. https://www.icc-cpi.int/sites/default/files/itemsDocuments/20160915_OTP-Policy_Case-Selection_Eng.pdf.

Office of the Prosecutor. Report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2020. The Hague: International Criminal Court, 2020. https://www.icc-cpi.int/sites/default/files/itemsDocuments/2020-PE/2020-pe-report-eng.pdf.

Office of the Prosecutor. Twenty-Ninth Report Of The Prosecutor Of The United Nations Security Council Pursuant To UNSCR 159. The Hague: International Criminal Court, 2005.

Prosperi, Luigi and Jacopo Terrosi. “Embracing the ‘Human Factor’.” Journal of International Criminal Justice 15, no. 5, (2017).

“Rekapitulasi Luas Kebakaran Hutan dan Lahan (Ha) Per Provinsi Di Indonesia Tahun 2016-2021.” Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Accessed September 25, 2021. http://sipongi.menlhk.go.id/hotspot/luas_kebakaran.

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, (adopted July 17, 1998, entered into force July 1, 2002) 2178 UNTS 3.

Scheffer, David and Caroline Kaeb. “The Five Levels of CSR Compliance: The Resiliency of Corporate Liability under the Alien Tort Statute and the Case for a Counterattack Strategy in Compliance Theory.” Berkeley Journal of International Law 29, no. 1 (2011).

Schmid, Evelyne. Taking Economic, Social And Cultural Rights Seriously In International Criminal Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

“Situation in Darfur, Sudan (ICC-02/05).” International Criminal Court. Accessed September 21, 2021. https://www.icc-cpi.int/darfur.

Smith, Tara. “Why the International Criminal Court is Right to Focus on the Environment.” The Conversation. Published September 23, 2016. https://theconversation.com/why-the-international-criminal-court-is-right-to-focus-on-the-environment-65920.

Stop Ecocide Foundation. Independent Expert Panel for the Legal Definition of Ecocide, Commentary and Core Text (2021).

United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court. Report of the Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Addendum. Rome, April 14, 1998. UN Doc. A/CONF-183/2/Add-1.

United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court. Report of the Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court. Rome, February 4, 1998. UN Doc. A/CONF.183/2.

United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court. Working Group on General Principles of Criminal Law. Rome, July 3, 1998. UN Doc. A/CONF.183/C.1/WGGP/ L.5/Rev.2.

UNSC Res 2408 (March 27, 2018) UN Doc. S/RES/2408.

UNSC Res 2429 (July 13, 2018) UN Doc. S/RES/2429.

Vidal, John and Owen Bowcott. “ICC Widens Remit to Include Environmental Destruction Cases.” The Guardian. Published September 15, 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/global/2016/sep/15/hague-court-widens-remit-to-include-environmental-destruction-cases.



2022-10-31 — Updated on 2022-10-31


How to Cite

Prihandono, Iman, and Dewi Santoso Yuniarti. 2022. “Expanding the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court”. Brawijaya Law Journal 9 (2):182-95. https://doi.org/10.21776/ub.blj.2022.009.02.05.