Pawar and Chowdhury on Law, Culture, and War: A Classic Vignette

Avisha Pawar, Indian Law Society, and Soumyashree Ray Chowdhury, ILS Law College, have published Law, Culture, and War: A Classic Vignette. Here is the abstract.

The official poet of the 2012 London Olympics said- “If you destroy culture, you destroy people- you destroy the heart of people.” What we glean from this, is the enormous importance cultural heritage holds in people’s lives. Therefore, the article critically examines the various international instruments deployed to conserve this very legacy and refers to numerous illustrations supporting its stance. The central provisions of the 1954 Hague Convention have been assessed along with the exception of ‘military necessity’ and how its usage has been frustrated by the nations. Further, it deals with a set of fundamental issues regarding accountability with special reference to the Al- Mahdi case- the trial that shook the international community. In this respect, the issue of international criminal responsibility and how far it’s feasible has also been discussed. The article ventures into the doctrine of Right to Protect (R2P) and its expanding relevance in the context of law regarding cultural protection. A pertinent question has been raised which is-why protect cultural property amid human suffering? The entire debate in reference to this has also been addressed stressing on the main contentions. The illicit trade of cultural objects is also another matter which has drawn global attention due to actions of terrorist groups such as ISIS. This discussion revolves around how various laws are being violated and the possibilities of prosecution. The recent development of the Nicosia Convention has been deliberated, considering the very little attention that it has garnered. Subsequently, the authors conclude by suggesting certain measures.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.