A test trial of Ecocide was conducted by the UK supreme court on September 30th 2011. CEO’s of the oil companies operating in the Athabasca Tar Sands were on trial and it only took 50 minutes for the jury to return with two unanimous guilty convictions of ecocide, with one not guilty verdict with regard to the Oil Spill.
Chris Parker QC acted for the Defence, Michael Mansfield for the Prosecution. Both were class acts. It was no mean feat to bring into the courtroom for just one day some of the issues that would arise in court for a trial on ecocide. The trial was carried out as an official supreme court trial and although it was a mock trial the outcome was not guaranteed.
The court was packed with an overflow audience outside watching the whole trial on SKY News. People around the globe followed the trial online and via Twitter with 120 000 tweets fo #ecocidetrialrecorded by lunchtime. Although this was a mock trial members of the press reported the event was reported worldwide as a major event by Independent, Deutsche Welle, The Guardian,Financial Times, CNBC. The Netherlands Radio covered the trial as did Indimedia, Wild Law UK and Climate Rush. Le Monde and Brazil’s Mercado spread the news and tweeted.