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«From Timbuktu to The Hague and Beyond : The War Crime of Intentionally Attacking Cultural Property»

January 18 @ 13:0015:00

Lecture summary
This essay refracts the ICC’s criminal conviction and reparations order in the Al Mahdi case into the much broader frame of increasingly heated public debates over the protection, removal, defacement, relocation, display, and destruction of cultural heritage in all forms: monuments, artefacts, language instruction, art, and literature. What might the work product of the ICC in the Al Mahdi proceedings – and international criminal law more generally – add, contribute, or excise from these debates? This essay speculatively explores connections between the turn to penal law to protect cultural property and the transformative impulses that undergird transitional justice which, in turn, often insist upon cultural change, including to cultures of oppression and impunity. Along the way, this essay also unpacks thorny questions as to how to value cultural property; how to determine what, exactly, constitutes the kind of property whose destruction should be criminalized; and which ‘cultures’ should be protected by ‘whom’ and in ‘whose’ interests.
Mark A. Drumbl
Professor Mark A Drumbl is the Class of 1975 Alumni Professor at Washington & Lee University, School of Law, where he also serves as Director of the Transnational Law Institute.  He lectures, practices, and publishes widely in the area of international criminal law, post-conflict justice, and public international law. His book, Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2007) has won commendations from the International Association of Criminal Law (U.S. national section) and the American Society of International Law. In 2012, he published Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy (Oxford University Press), which has been effusively reviewed and critically acclaimed. He is co-editing the Research Handbook on Child Soldiers (with Dr Jastine Barrett).  He has additionally taught at a number of law faculties, including Oxford, Paris, Melbourne, Monash, Ottawa, and the Free University of Amsterdam.


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