Polly Higgins was working as barrister in London. One day representing someone who had been injured during work she thought to herself: “Earth needs protecting too, it needs a good lawyer.” Soon after Polly quit her daily job and dedicated her life to defend one client only: Mother Earth.
In 2010 she presented to the UN her proposal to include ecocide as the fifth crime against peace at the International Criminal Court. She then launched the campaign “STOP ECOCIDE” with the aim to educate the larger public in Ecocide Law. Later, the campaign was refocused to fundraise for the “Earth Protectors Trust Fund,” which today finances “ecocide’s” representation at the annual Assembly of the International Criminal Court. In 2012 Polly also co-founded the Earth Law Alliance: A network of dedicated lawyers promoting life-sustaining laws. Throughout her carreer Polly authored several books about Earth Law, which today serve as a guide on how to implement Earth Law in governance.
In her leisure time Polly loved to drink whisky, eat chocolate and seaweed, and never missed a chance to explore the wilderness on her motorbike—espousing Pirsig’s Zen philosophy. Sadly, on April 21st 2019 Earth lost a protector, Polly Higgins passed away.
Polly’s lifework has laid the foundations for ecocide to become a crime. Her written contributions have helped Earth Law enter everyday legal discourse and her arduous campaigning has placed “ecocide” at the core of environmental activism.
Thank you Polly, as Earth’s most badass lawyer we’ll make sure your legacy lives on.
Article by: Isabella Cavalletti