War Crimes and the Conduct of Hostilities
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War Crimes and the Conduct of Hostilities

Challenges to Adjudication and Investigation

Edited by Fausto Pocar, Marco Pedrazzi and Micaela Frulli

Most charges for war crimes are brought for violations of the rules on the treatment of protected persons in armed conflict situations. However in certain cases, they are brought for serious breach of international humanitarian law rules governing the conduct of hostilities. This book seeks to address this somewhat neglected area of international criminal law.
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Chapter 5: The criminalization and prosecution of attacks against cultural property

Andrea Carcano


Within the field of international humanitarian law (IHL) the term ‘cultural property’ designates a distinct category of property to which special protection is granted in both international and non-international armed conflicts. This form of protection supplements the ‘general’ protection that applies to civilian objects and covers destruction, willful damage and all forms of misappropriation. A number of IHL conventions protecting civilian property that could also be classified as cultural property were already applicable during the first half of the twentieth century, such that some instances of illegal attacks on protected objects could have been prosecuted in the aftermath of World War II.

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