20 years ago today, the Rome Statute (the governing document) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adopted, on 17 July 1998. This year thousands of our Earth trustees shall be funding delegates from some of the smallest islands in the world to attend the annual Assembly in December - the first ever crowdfund by civil society for an international criminal law.
In preparation, Polly Higgins is in the Netherlands this week for meetings with representatives, and to make arrangements for raising the profile of ecocide law still further at the International Criminal Court's Assembly of State Parties this year, being held in December in The Hague.
ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE PROGRAMME - a courtroom in tears
Our non-profit has recently launched the Ecological Justice Programme in the UK designed for signatories to the Earth Protectors Trust Fund who are taking peaceful action as Conscientious Protectors, standing up to protect the Earth and their communities from dangerous industrial activity.
The programme is intended to assist Conscientious Protectors wishing to represent themselves in a court of law by seeking reliance on their human right to freedom of conscience.
There are already a number of cases going through the UK courts - and although we know it will be a while before we start getting acquittals, what we are already seeing is that presenting the Conscientious Protector argument with clarity and integrity is very powerful. At her trial last week one of our first Conscientious Protectors, Helen Chuntso, had virtually the entire courtroom in tears! Meanwhile Dr Peter Whittick (who we wrote to you about earlier this year) has already offered to join the programme to train other Conscientious Protectors following his own experience in court.
Those using the Conscientious Protector arguments and Earth Protectors Trust Fund documents say it feels really good to have the opportunity to speak their truth in court and give evidence of why they have taken peaceful action to prevent ecocide.
FINANCIAL STRUCTURE & RECURRING DONATIONS
The Pot: this is where your one-off donation goes when you sign up. It is ring-fenced for practical costs of the Small Island Developing States progressing ecocide law at the International Criminal Court (ICC): travel, conferencing, legal research and assistance, ICC fees.
The Base: This is the UK non-profit that co-ordinates Mission LifeForce and administers the Earth Protectors Trust Fund, all our outreach, technical support and cyber-security as well as our premises and administration.
Many have asked if they can set up a recurring donation to Mission LifeForce (as the sign-up donation is a one-off). The answer is a resounding YES and you can now find this on the website HERE - donations to our non-profit are particularly welcome at present and will help to support the Ecological Justice Programme.
We are delighted to present our live TRUSTEE MAP, showing the wonderful growing number of people who are signing up to Mission LifeForce.
We have also now made available a number of files to make it easier to spread the word about the Mission - you can find these HERE. Below is an example of what a group of Conscientious Protectors did with the icon, making it highly visible at the fracking frontline in Blackpool last month… what will you do?