Archives - Program 2020


Will the climate emergency be resolved in court?

The climate emergency requires strong and swift government action to save the planet. If no action is taken, can the courts compel the political authorities to take the necessary steps and impose sanctions?

Humans have had such an impact on the Earth's ecosystem that some argue for the creation of a new geological era: the Anthropocene. The very survival of the human race may be threatened. While meaningful political action is still slow to materialize, a growing number of activists see the judiciary as the only means of forcing States to take action and sanctioning them if they fail to do so. Can justice, which is often used to arbitrate conflicts between politicians and activists, have a role to play in this struggle? Do the courts have the capacity to force politicians to act against climate change?
In the documentary The Earth Lawyer, legal experts Polly Higgins and Baltasar Garzón attempt to have the crime of ecocide and the liabilities of large corporations that pollute and destroy the environment recognized in the name of international law.


Friday 13 March


Espace Pitoëff - Grande salle

Co-presented with the Festival du Film Vert de Genève and Avocats sans Frontières


François Gemenne Environmental geopolitics specialist, author of "Atlas de l'Anthropocène"

Irene Wettstein Lawyer.

Moderated by

Sebastien Malo Journalist, Reuters

This debat is preceded by the movie:

Film thématique

Backlight: The Earth's Lawyer

By Kees Brouwer

Our world recognizes 4 international crimes: war crimes, genocide, torture and crimes against humanity. The Spanish examining magistrate Baltasar Garzón and the Scottish lawyer Polly Higgins believe that these violations of international law should be supplemented by a fifth: ecocide. Will Higgins and Garzón succeed in getting ecocide recognized, putting the destruction of our ecosystems at the top of the international political agenda once and for all?

  • Section Film thématique

Kees Brouwer


  • Vpro Tegenlicht