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Matthew Hall

Abstract This chapter examines the application of criminal law to climate change at a national and international level: in terms of its readiness and the appropriateness of marshalling this body of law against activities which foster climate change, and its resulting impacts. Whilst criminal sanctions may seem desirable in terms of their associated moral censure and (arguable) deterrence and preventative attributes, the application of criminal law to climate change is conceptually and pragmatically challenging in terms of achieving actual convictions. This is true both in relation to domestic criminal justice systems (especially given the high threshold of proof and causation required in these cases) and for the application of international criminal law in such cases. As such, a combined approach encompassing criminal and administrative sanctions may be more workable. Failing that, more radical approaches may also yield favourable results including restorative and mediation options as well as the creation of a new international crime of ecocide.