The Limits of Framing in International Law: The Shortcomings of International Heritage Protection in the ISIS Conflicts
14 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 1, 2017
As the conflict in Syria and Iraq against ISIS continues and eludes the grasp of the International Criminal Court, focus is being increasingly placed on international cultural heritage law regimes and mechanisms. Artefacts are taken off the ground and removed from museums to finance the conflicts and sites destroyed for propaganda value. All the while, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has mobilized to protect cultural heritage at risk in these regions. It has roused worldwide outrage, galvanized resources and expertise, and devised new plans and institutional structures to deal with the new challenges. This paper explores the somewhat fragmented legal regimes under the different UNESCO treaties applicable to the ISIS conflict. After identifying the main gaps in international law, the authors look at how recent UNESCO efforts for closer coordination of the legal regimes have developed thus far, and whether they have the potential to address the shortcomings of framing in this international legal regime.
Keywords: cultural property, cultural heritage
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