Polly Higgins

Lawyer, Eradicating Ecocide Global Initiative

About Polly

Bio

Lawyer for the Earth and author of award-winning Eradicating Ecocide. After spending time as a barrister in court, representing corporate clients, Polly had an insight; the Earth is in need of a good lawyer. So she decided to become a Voice for the Earth and put her unique skills to best use to create a new law to put in place an overriding duty of case for people and planet. The law is called Ecocide.

Languages

English

An idea worth spreading

My wish is to end Ecocide by 2020. This will happen.

I'm passionate about

Being a Voice for the Earth.

Talk to me about

your idea to end mass damage and destruction

My TED story

This is a love story. A love story between you and me. You are the Earth and I am, well, me. Like most love stories, there's a beginning, middle and an end. Ours has only just begun, but I promise you this, it is the biggest love story of our times. This is one story that each and every one of us has a part in - and my story is also yours.

I have just discovered that I love the world that I live in, and I believe that we are entering an era where we come from a place of love, not war. That's why I am stepping up onto the platform and over the edge into space - because when I do that I enter into a place of magic. This is my invitation to you to do the same.

My quest is to end the era of Ecocide. I give my life to the Earth - I know that what unites us all is our love for life.

Comments & conversations

187943
Polly Higgins
Posted about 2 years ago
Make Ecocide a crime
In response to all of the comments, I can see a common thread here; the understanding that to do harm to the Earth does not work. For me, I can see it every day - be it the unintended consequences of the use of pesticides, mono-crops, oil extraction or nuclear - yet for some reason we have not yet reached a point where we stand up and say 'no more'. This cycle of abuse is one that we are all unwittingly playing a part in. All of our major industries are governed by law that puts profit before people and planet. A law of Ecocide puts in place an over-riding principle of 'First do no harm' - when that is put in place, the opportunity to create a better world begins.
187943
Polly Higgins
Posted about 2 years ago
Make Ecocide a crime
Gosh - great comments. thankyou all. In response: RH - re costing: crime does not cost harm. For instance, if you are harmed by someone cutting your arm off, you are not given a bit of money. What happens is that under criminal law we imprison those who have caused the harm. This is because in and of itself it is wrong to cause harm - not something you can simply buy your way out of. Fritzie - sadly not. At the moment most law only goes so far as to fine, but often a fine is too little too late. It also means that you can destroy, just at a price if and when caught. Michael - re prosecution. How this would work is that an international crime, when passed must be enforced at a national level. Most countries have no problem prosecuting crime, eg theft etc. The persons who could be prosecuted for this crime are those who are in what is known as 'positions of superior responsibility' - those who have made adverse decisions (or failed to prevent) that have or will cause Ecocide. Ecocide is a crime of what is known as 'strict liability' - ie you do not need intent for the crime to be established. Thus the sentencing starts at a lower level, and then raises where knowledge or intent is also established. Ecocide is essentially mass damage and destruction - you can read the full definition and all the draft legislation on http://www.eradicatingecocide.com. Brian - or we can start from a fundamental over-riding principle: 'first do no harm.'