The Strained, Elusive and Wide-Ranging Relationship between International Cultural Heritage Law and the Law of State Responsibility: From Collective Enforcement to Concurrent Responsibility
Published in: A. Chechi, M.A. Renold (eds.), Cultural Heritage Law and Ethics: Mapping Recent Developments, Studies in Art Law 26, Schulthess - Éditions Romandes, 2017, pp. 7-43
46 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2018
Date Written: December 10, 2017
The Chapter engages with the connections between State responsibility and international heritage law. In the absence – in principle – of special rules on State responsibility within the cultural heritage regime, general law is the law to use. The example of heritage tells an important story about the international law on State responsibility, namely, a story of how fragmented normative regimes in the same specialised field (i.e. heritage law) can articulate different responses and different levels of State responsibility, ultimately harming the regime’s overall effectiveness. The Chapter identifies two strands of reasons explaining why State responsibility is not as effective as one would wish: those pertaining to general international law (especially the deficiencies of collective enforcement), and reasons that are inherent to international heritage law. However, despite these pessimistic remarks, the argument is made that the combination of State responsibility rules and the principle of due diligence allows cultural heritage to expand in various directions, including State responsibility associated with the conduct of non-State actors (whose conduct is not attributable to the State) and concurrent State responsibility. Outside heritage impacted by non-State actors, the Chapter examines different levels of State involvement in heritage safeguarding multinational heritage nominations and heritage listed by one State, but that is also of interest to other States.
Keywords: International Heritage Law, state responsibility, erga omnes, collective enforcement, due diligence, non-state actors, consurrent responsibility, UNESCO, cultural heritage
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