State Responsibility and the International Protection of Cultural Heritage

Andrzej Jakubowski


This article deals with the international responsibility of States for their breach of cultural heritage obligations in the event of armed conflicts. The topic is both highly important and challenging. In fact, the implementation of State responsibility for the breach of a cultural heritage obligation may meet with serious practical difficulties in attributing unlawful conduct to a given State. Moreover, political circumstances often favour the prosecution of individual perpetrators, even if they acted under the direction or control of a State, rather than invoking the responsibility of that State. Viewed in such light, this article briefly discusses the sources and status of international cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict, then deals with the consequences of their violation in international practice. It also discusses the resolution Succession of States in Matters of International Responsibility, adopted this year by the Institute of International Law (IIL), and analyses its potential outcomes in relation to cultural heritage obligations applicable to States’ conduct in armed conflicts.

Słowa kluczowe

State responsibility, cultural heritage, armed conflict, reparation, restitution, compensation, State succession

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