Genocide and restitution: Ensuring each group's contribution to humanity

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Journal Article
European Journal of International Law, 2011, 22 (1), pp. 17 - 47
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The protection of minorities in modern international law is intimately connected with and fuelled the recognition of the crimes of persecution and genocide. Minority protection represented the proactive component of the international efforts to ensure the contribution of certain groups to the cultural heritage of humankind. Prohibition and prosecution of persecution and genocide represented the reactive element of these same efforts. The restitution of cultural property to persecuted groups by the international community was recognition that their ownership and control of these physical manifestations was necessary for the realization of this purpose. In this article, I consider the emergence, contraction, and revival of the interconnection between minority protection, the prevention and punishment of genocide, and the protection and restitution of cultural heritage over the last century-long development of international law. It is argued that the central aim driving and interweaving these initiatives is the effort to ensure the continuing contribution of each group to the cultural heritage of all humanity. © EJIL 2011; all rights reserved.
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