Legislation for common-law States seeking to implement their obligations under the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its 1954 and 1999 Protocols.
In spite of the existence of detailed norms of international law for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict cultural property remain the object of destruction and looting.
As François Bugnion has observed, "when monuments, places of worship and works of arts are attacked, the aim is to destroy the enemy's identity, his history, his culture and his faith, so as to eradicate trace of his presence and, in some cases, his very existence." ( The origins and development of the legal protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict , by François Bugnion)
Compliance with the international rules therefore needs to be strengthened. It is in this spirit that the ICRC Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law has developed this new model law.
This model law seeks to provide guidance on how to incorporate into domestic law the rules of the1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two Protocols of 1954 and 1999.
It has been drafted for consideration by States with a common-law legal tradition. For States with a civil-law legal tradition, the model law may also prove useful as a checklist of provisions that need to be implemented through domestic law.
See also : Factsheet on the 1954 Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its Protocols.