UK’s Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act 2017 – Legislation 60 Years in Making

Agnieszka Jachec-Neale

Abstrakt
On 12 September 2017, the United Kingdom joined 128 other States in officially becoming party to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two Protocols. The UK first signed the Hague Convention in December 1954, but did not ratify it for 60 years. As political pressure mounted in recent years to recognize the necessity of safeguarding of cultural heritage both at home and abroad, the current government undertook to rectify the delay in bringing the UK’s obligations up to international standards in this field. This paper examines both the process and its legislative outcome. It argues that this ratification came as a much-awaited and welcome step, in particular because it allows for domestic prosecutions of serious breaches of the Second Protocol against non-nationals. By contrast, the ratification represented a missed opportunity to tackle some of the more challenging and topical issues related to the material and personal scope of application of the Hague Convention and its Protocols, as well as to the definition of cultural property.
Słowa kluczowe: United Kingdom, Cultural Property Act, non-state organized armed groups, criminal responsibility, protection, 1954 Hague Convention, non-international armed conflicts, Syria
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