Working towards a more compassionate world through education and advocacy
Increasing our Compassionate Footprint
Tribunals will challenge the way we relate to non-human beings --- Page 2
Animal Voice: But again, how do we get people to recognise this?
Cormac Cullinan: Just as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was born out of the atrocities of World War 2 and quickly came to be accepted as an inherent part of our civilization, so too, in the same way, the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, must become entrenched as an inherent part of our civilization and a complementary component to Human Rights.
Animal Voice: It is encouraging to learn that the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth was adopted at the Climate Change conference held in South America in 2010 by some 35 000 people
Cormac Cullinan: And in fact, it was there in Ecuador that the idea of an International People’s Tribunal was born whereby people could bring cases to be decided upon as if
the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth
were law. Now, for the first time in Paris, in tandem with COP 21, the People’s Tribunal will be officially constituted with experts in the roles of prosecutor, defence counsel and judges. I am honoured to have been chosen as President of the International Panel of Judges. For the first time, violations of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, will be aired in a tribunal of the people whose voices have been ignored by governments for too long. No longer will be lobby governments. We’re not saying ‘please...’ any more. We’ve tried that! We are sick of waiting for real change – for authentic change! So we will do it ourselves!
Animal Voice: Explain how the Tribunal will work exactly?
Cormac Cullinan: Ordinary people submit cases which go through a preliminary evaluation process after which the case will be heard at the next meeting of the Tribunal. We intend establishing regional chambers of the Tribunal so that ordinary people all over the world have access to it. Regional chambers already exist in Australia and the USA and South Africa is to have one too.
Animal Voice: What happens when the
government/corporation/agribusiness/supermarket chain/etc is found guilty of gross violations of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth?
Cormac Cullinan: We intend to apply Restorative Justice rather than Punitive Justice. Punitive Justice does not actually help the earth. So, if the company has damaged the environment, it must put it right and we will make a call for people not to invest in the company until it puts the situation right. Ultimately, it is a Tribunal of Public Opinion. The more people who support the Tribunal, the more powerful it will be. It is a positive way forward. The thinking that poisons everything is a mentality of domination and exploitation and that is precisely what must become absolutely obsolete.
And in addition, we want to come away with the registration of a new crime ... the crime of Ecocide!
Cullinan is author of Wild law: A manifesto for Earth Justice, as well as the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.
Organisations and individuals can sign up
here, to endorse the People’s Tribunal.
Back in 1995 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established to expose crimes committed under Apartheid.
At the time Animal Voice predicted the one day there would be a Truth Commission that would expose the atrocities committed against non-human beings.
That time has come!