In 2001 Crutzen and Stoermer coined the term “Anthropocene” to describe human activity as a geological force. For legal scholars the notion of the Anthropocene works as a device to make us aware of the negative effects of human driven activity to the earth.
The implications of such effects are numerous, specially for criminal law and international criminal law. Until now, all protected legal interests have had as core the human being, however the Anthropocene poses the challenge to embrace the environment or the planet as a legal interest to protect in itself. This becomes relevant for international criminal law when conceptualizing the crime of ecocide.
Additionally, the cross-boundary effects of environmental damage, challenge the rules of causation, where does the criminal act start and where does individual criminal responsibility begin?
These challenges could lead to unify criminal law provisions at the domestic and international level in order to effectively protect the planet.