Widely criticized as ineffective, the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (HC54) and its two Protocols remain the key legal provision for the protection of cultural property in armed conflict today. We argue, however, that a close reading of the Convention suggests that it remains fundamentally fit for purpose, particularly in light of modern technological warfighting capabilities and modern disaster management planning, but simply lacks States Party implementation.
Written in the aftermath of the Second World War, HC54 sets out to achieve much more than establish the legal framework for CPP: it advances a series of guiding principles, developed further in the accompanying Regulations and Guidelines, addressing what safeguarding amounts to in practical terms, and how enabling activities should be managed.
The editors – Dr Paul Fox and Dr Emma Cunliffe of Newcastle University and the Blue Shield – propose to publish a collection of essays addressing either – or both – strands of the safeguarding regime: refuge use and the provision of in situ safeguarding measures. Prospective contributors are encouraged to address the topic in any way they see fit. All contributions must, however, set up HC54 as the core framing device, and must engage in detail with its specificities. Our purpose is to promote wider understanding of the practical utility of the Convention in the contemporary world; conclusions regarding utility and its limits will reside in a close address to relevant clauses towards conclusions about the perceived opportunities and constraints HC54 offers today. Although armed conflict is of course the determining framework, considerations of the Convention’s general utility as a guiding framework, or doctrine, for other contingencies, including planning for natural or man-made disaster relief, are also welcome.
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Please feel free to circulate the attached call to your networks.
Dr Paul Fox
Senior Research Associate, Cultural Property Protection and Peace
UK Blue Shield & Secretariat, Blue Shield International
Newcastle University: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/sacs/staff/profile/paulfox.html
Dr Emma Cunliffe
Research Associate, Cultural Property Protection and Peace
Secretary, UK Blue Shield & Secretariat, Blue Shield International
Newcastle University: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/sacs/staff/profile/emmacunliffe.html