Cultural Heritage in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

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International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, 2011
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© The several contributors, 2011. All rights reserved. This chapter discusses the protection of cultural heritage by humanitarian law (IHL), international human rights law (IHRL), and international criminal law (ICL). First, it outlines the exceptional treatment of cultural heritage in general international humanitarian law instruments including those covering non-international armed conflicts, and its overlap with international human rights law. Then, it details how this protection has been built upon by the specialist regime for the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflict and belligerent occupation developed under the auspices of UNESCO. Next, the chapter analyzes ICL jurisprudence from the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg to the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia, to show how efforts to prosecute violations of the laws and customs of war relating to cultural heritage have been intrinsic to the articulation and prosecution of crimes against humanity and genocide. Finally, it considers the evolving and potential future normative trends in this field in the light of recent developments with reference to obligations erga omnes, intentional destruction and the content of the obligation, and intangible heritage and cultural diversity.
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