A Kimberley Process for Conflict Antiquities: Determing the Viability of a Cultural Property Certification Scheme

62 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2019

See all articles by Ruby Meagher

Ruby Meagher

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

The trade in conflict antiquities — excavated and looted artefacts from conflict zones — is increasing due to the rising number of conflicts between states and rebel groups. Rebel groups loot conflict antiquities sell them for profit to fund their movements. Current legal and non-legal regulations fail to deter participants in the conflict antiquities market, namely looters, smugglers, dealers and auction houses. This is because regulations are reactive, localised to single states and unable to be easily applied during a conflict. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme has been successfully used to regulate a similar illicit market — conflict diamonds. It does through a system of warranties certifying that each parcel of diamonds is free from conflict. To date, legal scholarship has recognised the similarities between conflict diamonds and conflict antiquities but has stopped short of analysing whether a certification scheme could similarly reduce the conflict antiquities market. This paper seeks to extend existing literature by undertaking this often absent analysis. It finds that a certification scheme is likely a workable solution for reducing the conflict antiquities market. Dealers and consumers may find such a database easy to use, incentivising participation. It may be an inexpensive solution for states and may help eliminate a form of rebel income. Finally, a certification scheme may better regulate the conflict antiquities market than alternative solutions.

Keywords: conflict antiquities, diamonds, Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, solution

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Meagher, Ruby, A Kimberley Process for Conflict Antiquities: Determing the Viability of a Cultural Property Certification Scheme (2018). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper, Student/Alumni Paper No. 40/2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3485306 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3485306

Ruby Meagher (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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