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Citations to This Work

  • International Criminal Law-Rome Statute- International Criminal Court Imposes First Sentence for War Crime of Attacking Cultural Heritage.-Prosecutor v. Ahmad al Faqi al Mahdi, Case No. Icc-01/12-01/15, Judgment & Senten, 130 Harv. L. Rev. 1978 (2017)

  • Christopher L. Blakesley, Wrestling Tyrants: Do We Need an International Criminal Justice System?, 48 U. Pac. L. Rev 175 (2017)

  • Claire Stephens, Blood Antiquities: Preserving Syria's Heritage, 92 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 353 (2017)

  • Sonia K. Katyal, Technoheritage, 105 Cal. L. Rev. 1111 (2017)

  • Jessica E. Burrus, "So Far As War Allows": Why the al Mahdi Conviction Is Unlikely to Stem the Pace of Cultural Destruction Perpetrated by Non-State Actors, 27 Wash. Int'l L.J. 317 (2017)

  • Derek Fincham, Intentional Destruction and Spoliation of Cultural Heritage Under International Criminal Law, 23 U.C. Davis J. Int'l L. & Pol'y 149 (2017)

  • Mark S. Ellis, The Icc's Role in Combatting the Destruction of Cultural Heritage, 49 Case W. Res. J. Int'l L. 23 (2017)

  • Sterling M. Paulson, Deterring Destroyers: International Prohibitions and Punishments Against the Destruction of Cultural Property, 20 Gonz. J. Int'l L. 1 (2017)

  • Haley Claxton, Indiana Jones and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (Fsia): Interpreting Fsia's State Sponsored Terror Exception, 66 U. Kan. L. Rev. 181 (2017)

  • Daniel M. Cole, From the Hague to Timbuktu: The Prosecutor v. Ahmad al Faqi al Mahdi; A Consequential Case of Firsts for Cultural Heritage and for the International Criminal Court, 31 Temp. Int'l & Comp. L.J. 397 (2017)

Abstract

The destruction of cultural heritage has played a prominent role in the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq and in the recent conflict in Mali. This destruction has displayed the failure of international law to effectively deter these actions. This article reviews existing international law in light of this destruction and the challenges posed by the issues of non-international armed conflict, non-state actors and the military necessity exception. By examining recent developments in applicable international law, the article proposes that customary international law has evolved to interpret existing legal instruments and doctrines concerning cultural heritage in light of the principles of proportionality and distinction and a definition of intentionality that includes extreme negligence and willful disregard. As a result, international law may more effectively foster the preservation of cultural heritage for future generations.

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