Military necessity in international cultural heritage law : lessons learned from international humanitarian law, international criminal law and international environmental law
Title: Military necessity in international cultural heritage law : lessons learned from international humanitarian law, international criminal law and international environmental law
Author: DRAZEWSKA, Berenika
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2016
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
It is now universally accepted that during armed conflicts, cultural property is entitled to a special status, which translates, inter alia, into a ban on its use for military purposes and a prohibition of acts of hostility against it as per the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954). However, this special status is weakened in the presence of a 'military necessity'; an elusive concept which equally limits the protected status of property of no cultural value. This raises questions whether in practice cultural property is at all given any special treatment during wars. This thesis argues that it is precisely the understanding of military necessity which constitutes the essential difference between the legal framework protecting 'regular' civilian property during armed conflicts and the framework for cultural property as lex specialis. Although the Convention's 1999 Second Protocol's definition of military necessity is formally only binding on half of the States participating in the Hague Convention, it corresponds to the customary criteria of necessity and proportionality. The evolutive character of that concept is also reflected in the case-law of international courts and in the military manuals of States not party to the Second Protocol. A narrow reading of military necessity in the cultural context is further supported by: the dynamic evolution of treaty and customary international law in the field; the rise of a new type of armed conflicts, which frequently feature cultural destruction as means of harming the enemy; the reinforcement of individual criminal responsibility for unlawful attacks against cultural property; the rise of erga omnes obligations, and, finally, analogies in the application of necessity in other fields of international law. If international practice continues to develop in this direction, the fundamental intention of the architects of the Hague Convention will be respected, and the world's cultural riches will have a better chance of escaping the greedy toll of wartime destruction and being preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.
LC Subject Heading: Cultural property -- Protection (International law); Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954 May 14); War (International law)
Defence date: 4 March 2016; Examining Board: Professor Francesco Francioni, European University Institute (Supervisor); Professor Nehal Bhuta, European University Institute; Professor Manlio Frigo, Università degli Studi di Milano; Professor Ana Vrdoljak, University of Technology, Sydney.
Type of Access: embargoedAccess