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Ending the symbols shattering: Bringing perpetrators to justice for the destruction of immovable cultural property in armed conflict

Andersson, Simon LU (2016) LAGF03 20162
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Uppsatsens syfte är att undersöka huruvida kulturegendom tillmäts ’tillräckligt skydd’ av internationell rätt i väpnade konflikter, med betoning på den juridiska grunden för att åtala förstörelse av kulturarv som ett krigsbrott under internationell straffrätt. Jag undersöker hur de mest relevanta traktaterna i internationell rätt har uppstått sedan antagandet år 1954
av Haagkonventionen för skydd av kulturegendom i händelse av väpnade konflikter.

1954 års Haagkonvention introducerade den juridiska termen ’kulturegendom’ och fastslog att ’skada gentemot kulturegendom tillhörandes något folk är en skada gentemot hela mänsklighetens kulturarv’ [min översättning]. Detta fastslog den normativa tonen som sedan reproducerats i senare... (More)
Uppsatsens syfte är att undersöka huruvida kulturegendom tillmäts ’tillräckligt skydd’ av internationell rätt i väpnade konflikter, med betoning på den juridiska grunden för att åtala förstörelse av kulturarv som ett krigsbrott under internationell straffrätt. Jag undersöker hur de mest relevanta traktaterna i internationell rätt har uppstått sedan antagandet år 1954
av Haagkonventionen för skydd av kulturegendom i händelse av väpnade konflikter.

1954 års Haagkonvention introducerade den juridiska termen ’kulturegendom’ och fastslog att ’skada gentemot kulturegendom tillhörandes något folk är en skada gentemot hela mänsklighetens kulturarv’ [min översättning]. Detta fastslog den normativa tonen som sedan reproducerats i senare traktater, av vilka en av de mest betydelsefulla varit 1999 års andra Haagprotokoll om skydd för kulturell egendom i händelse av väpnad konflikt. Protokollet korrigerade betydande svagheter i Haagkonventionen och skapade en juridisk grund som utgör en brygga mellan Haagkonventionen och internationell straffrätt.

Jag fortsätter med att undersöka de största rättsfallen ifrån Internationella krigsförbrytartribunalen för det forna Jugoslavien samt ifrån Internationella Brottmålsdomstolen. Efter att ha undersökt rättsfallen Jokić och Strugar ifrån ICTY finner jag att Tribunalen enbart gjort ett klent försök att åtala den omfattande förstörelsen av Dubrovnik i nuvarande Kroatien. Kultur-egendom utgjorde enbart en mindre del av rättsfallen och Tribunalen omfattade inte riktigt möjligheten att utveckla rättsområdet. Däremot finner jag också att traktaterna i sig har en juridisk styrka och att rättsfallen varit nödvändiga för rättsutvecklingen.

Efter att ha läst ICC:s rättsfall al-Mahdi ifrån den 27 september 2016 menar jag att ett ’tillräckligt skydd’ av kulturegendom existerar idag, vilket framkommer av rättsfallet. Anledningarna är dels att fallet bedömdes vara av nog stor betydelse att passera domstolens allvarlighetströskel [min översättning] samt att domstolen tydligt förklarar grunderna för den åtalades straffansvar. Domstolen söker på ett mycket bra sätt att utveckla rättsområdet.

Däremot finner jag att även om ett ’tillräckligt skydd’ finns idag är det i ett kritiskt läge och kan mycket väl bli en bortglömd parentes i rättshistorien, ifall alltfler stater drar sig ur Romstadgan. Jag ser fortfarande många möjligheter och menar att utvecklingen mot att skydda kulturegendom och åtala förövare för dess förstörelse går framåt. (Less)
Abstract
The purpose of this thesis is to examine whether cultural property is attributed ‘sufficient protection’ by international law in armed conflicts, with an emphasis on the legal basis for prosecuting its destruction as a war crime under international criminal law. I research how the most relevant treaties in international law have emerged since the adoption of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict in 1954.

The 1954 Hague Convention introduced the legal term ‘cultural property’ and stated that ‘damage to cultural property belonging to any people whatsoever means damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind’. This set the normative tone for later treaties in international law, of which one... (More)
The purpose of this thesis is to examine whether cultural property is attributed ‘sufficient protection’ by international law in armed conflicts, with an emphasis on the legal basis for prosecuting its destruction as a war crime under international criminal law. I research how the most relevant treaties in international law have emerged since the adoption of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict in 1954.

The 1954 Hague Convention introduced the legal term ‘cultural property’ and stated that ‘damage to cultural property belonging to any people whatsoever means damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind’. This set the normative tone for later treaties in international law, of which one of the most important is the 1999 Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954. The Protocol amended the major weaknesses in the Convention and provided a legal basis bridging the Convention with international criminal law.

I continue examining the major cases from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and from the International Criminal Court. Examining the cases Jokić and Strugar from the ICTY, I find that only a frail attempt was made at prosecuting the significant destruction of Dubrovnik in current Croatia. Cultural property only played a minor part of the cases, and the Tribunal did not take the opportunity of developing the jurisprudence in the legal area. However, I also find the legal strength of the treaties, and that the cases were vital for the legal development, leading to the ICC prosecuting destruction of cultural property.

Reading the al-Mahdi case from the ICC from the 27 September 2016, I mean that it demon-strates that ‘sufficient protection’ exists. The main reasons are that the case passed the gravity threshold, making it possible for the ICC to prosecute, and that the ICC makes a clear account on the basis for criminal responsibility. It is a serious take at clarifying the legal area.

However, I find that although ‘sufficient protection’ may be said to exist today, it is in a critical state and can just as well become a vague parenthesis, if states withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. I still see many possibilities and judging from the facts presented, I mean that the development towards protecting cultural property and prosecuting its destruction is still making progress. (Less)
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author
Andersson, Simon LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20162
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Public international law, Cultural property, Armed conflict
language
English
id
8897267
date added to LUP
2017-02-04 16:53:05
date last changed
2017-02-04 16:53:05
@misc{8897267,
  abstract     = {The purpose of this thesis is to examine whether cultural property is attributed ‘sufficient protection’ by international law in armed conflicts, with an emphasis on the legal basis for prosecuting its destruction as a war crime under international criminal law. I research how the most relevant treaties in international law have emerged since the adoption of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict in 1954.

The 1954 Hague Convention introduced the legal term ‘cultural property’ and stated that ‘damage to cultural property belonging to any people whatsoever means damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind’. This set the normative tone for later treaties in international law, of which one of the most important is the 1999 Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954. The Protocol amended the major weaknesses in the Convention and provided a legal basis bridging the Convention with international criminal law.

I continue examining the major cases from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and from the International Criminal Court. Examining the cases Jokić and Strugar from the ICTY, I find that only a frail attempt was made at prosecuting the significant destruction of Dubrovnik in current Croatia. Cultural property only played a minor part of the cases, and the Tribunal did not take the opportunity of developing the jurisprudence in the legal area. However, I also find the legal strength of the treaties, and that the cases were vital for the legal development, leading to the ICC prosecuting destruction of cultural property.

Reading the al-Mahdi case from the ICC from the 27 September 2016, I mean that it demon-strates that ‘sufficient protection’ exists. The main reasons are that the case passed the gravity threshold, making it possible for the ICC to prosecute, and that the ICC makes a clear account on the basis for criminal responsibility. It is a serious take at clarifying the legal area.

However, I find that although ‘sufficient protection’ may be said to exist today, it is in a critical state and can just as well become a vague parenthesis, if states withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. I still see many possibilities and judging from the facts presented, I mean that the development towards protecting cultural property and prosecuting its destruction is still making progress.},
  author       = {Andersson, Simon},
  keyword      = {Public international law,Cultural property,Armed conflict},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Ending the symbols shattering: Bringing perpetrators to justice for the destruction of immovable cultural property in armed conflict},
  year         = {2016},
}