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The Prosecution of the Destruction of Cultural Property in the Practice of the International Criminal Tribunals

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is an assessment of the relevant provisions for prosecuting the destruction of cultural property in international criminal law. International criminal law distinguishes between offences that create grounds for criminal liability and defences, which rule out liability. Offences consist of a material element (actus reus) and a mental element (mens rea). The ad hoc tribunals have not developed a uniform rule applicable to all crimes under international criminal law concerning the required mens rea. Prosecuting the destruction of cultural property as a war crime is relatively unproblematic as can be deviated from the practice of the international tribunals, especially the ICTY. The prosecution of the destruction of cultural property as a crime against humanity has been a major step for the protection of cultural property during peacetime and for the development of international criminal law.

Keywords:Crime against Humanity; Crimes under International Criminal Law; cultural property; Destruction; International Criminal Tribunals; Prosecution; War Crime



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