The COVID-19 pandemic and ecological connectivity: implications for international criminal law and transitional justice

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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected multiple aspects of our lives. This interdisciplinary article reflects on the significance of the pandemic from a largely unexplored angle, through a focus on the key concept of ecological connectivity, which broadly refers to the inter-connections between different elements of an ecosystem. Examining the pandemic through the lens of ecological connectivity, the article also theorizes it (and zoonotic diseases more generally) as a violation of this connectivity. It uses this idea as a core thread for linking COVID-19, international criminal law, and transitional justice. Its key argument in this regard is that war crimes and human rights violations can themselves be viewed, in part, as violations of ecological connectivity. This theorization, in turn, provides a novel basis for thinking about the wider ecological dimensions and legacies of war crimes and gross violations of human rights, and, by extension, the potential role of international criminal law and transitional justice in helping to restore damaged connectivities through a relational approach to justice.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbermqaa057
JournalJournal of International Criminal Justice
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2020