Polly Higgins – Eradicating Ecocide tour

September 2, 2011

Polly Higgins is a lawyer who has dedicated her life to one client – the Earth.

A barrister and author, Polly has become an expert in Earth Law, a new body of governance to give voice to the Earth.

She speaks on all aspects of governance required for the new world, a world governed by a new set of values – values that put people and planet over profit.

Her recent book, ‘Eradicating Ecocide – Laws and Governance to Prevent the Destruction of our Planet’ won The People’s Book Prize and was a nominee for both the Book Of The Year Award and the Beryl Bainbridge Prize.

Polly spoke today in Wellington to a lunchtime crowd, as part of her speaking tour organised by Wellington Central Green party candidate James Shaw. Her presentation is compelling, comparing the development of the definition of the crime of ‘ecocide’ to the post-WWII development of the crime of ‘genocide’ in respond to the crimes of Nazi Germany.

She clearly laid out the legal definitions involved, and spoke about several well-known cases of gross environmental damage that have been caused by corporate activity, from the Exxon Valdez spill through to the most recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Her tour continues to Nelson and Auckland before heading across the Tasman, so I urge readers outside Wellington to get to Nelson’s session tonite 7pm – 9pm at New Hub, New Street, Nelson CBD (opposite DeVille’s), and Auckland getting their turn Sunday 4th September 1- 9pm, at Earthsong, 457 Swanson Road, Ranui, Waitakere, Auckland, and in the CBD Monday 5th September 7pm – 9pm at Lecture Theatre 260-098, Owen Glenn Building, The University of Auckland.

She has a website of her own, with great info on ecocide here, and there is more information about her book here.

Final slide of the presentation

Final slide of the presentation

One last irony presented itself as we left the venue – Polly had not realised that the Spectrum Theatre, booked for her presentation, was in BP New Zealand’s head office building. Here she is with James after the humour of the situation set in, just before leaving to fly to Nelson.

Polly & James outside BP NZ HO.

Polly & James outside BP NZ HO.

Update:
Polly’s Auckland lecture at the University of Auckland was reported in the NZ Herald here.

Update #2
A mock trial on the crime of ecocide was held in London’s Supreme Court on 30th September, prosecuted by Polly Higgins. Reported here at the Independant, and discussed here at Learning From Nature blog.
It was also live-streamed on BSkyB, but I didn’t post that up in time, soz.
I admit to dropping the ball on that one. (This will be my only rugby-related metaphor, that is all)

Update #3
Very belatedly, here’s a link to the you-tube doco on the mock trial.

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