New prospects for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict: The entry into force of the Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention
30-06-2004 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 854, by Vittorio Mainetti
The entry into force of the Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention is the most recent step forward in the legal protection of cultural property during armed conflict. This article explains the background to the adoption of the Protocol and gives a detailed analysis of the significance of the new rules introduced by this instrument.
Fifty years after the adoption of the 1954 Hague Convention, the entry into force of the Second Protocol is the most recent step forward in the legal protection of cultural property during armed conflicts. The aim of this article is to explain the significance of the new rules introduced by this instrument. Drawn up within the framework of UNESCO, the Second Protocol takes into account major developments in international humanitarian law, international criminal law and cultural heritage law. It significantly reinforces the provisions of the Hague Convention, particularly regarding measures to safeguard and ensure respect for cultural property, provides for a new system of enhanced protection, establishes a new institutional framework, defines serious violations, which entail individual criminal responsibility and the duty upon States Parties to establish jurisdiction over those violations, and, finally, extends the scope of application to non-international armed conflicts.