The Al Mahdi case : from punishing perpetrators to repairing cultural heritage harm
Karolina Wierczyńska and Andrzej Jakubowski
Intersections in International Cultural Heritage Law
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2020
This chapter examines the ongoing process of consolidating international criminal law regimes for counteracting cultural heritage crimes, with particular focus on reparations for cultural harm. It begins with a wider panorama of international criminal law and jurisprudence in relation to cultural heritage crimes. This background outlines the limited provisions of the Rome Statute and offers some critical observations in relation to the evolving system of individual criminal responsibility for cultural heritage crimes. Second, it scrutinizes the approach taken by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in convicting Al Mahdi for the crime of intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion and/or historical monuments. Third, this chapter considers the issue of remedies and reparations for cultural harm suffered in light of the relevant provisions of the Rome State and the practice of international human rights bodies. Next, it analyzes the approach taken by the ICC in Al Mahdi regarding the methodology of determining reparations for the international destruction of cultural heritage. This chapter also analyzes the possible reconsideration of the crime of deliberate attacks against protected cultural sites going beyond the notion and scope of war crime.
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