Category Archives: Criminal Law

Evidencing threats to heritage in conflict zones

Posted on: September 11, 2017 by Emily Gould

“Scientists shoot rocks!” This was the opening line of a fascinating discussion exploring innovative methods of evidencing the destruction of cultural heritage in conflict zones held at the V&A last Friday evening (8 September). The event was part of the V&A’s ‘Culture in Crisis’ programme which seeks to raise awareness of the need to protect […]

Commentary on prosecution of UK man for antiquities smuggling

Posted on: August 30, 2017 by Andrew Swait

A UK man, Toby Robyns, was apprehended ten days ago by Turkish authorities, as he tried to leave Turkey with a dozen coins. He had found the coins with his children on the seabed while snorkelling. He is still in prison, awaiting a decision by the Turkish courts. Our Assistant Director, Alexander Herman, was interviewed […]

Reparations ordered in Timbuktu destruction case

Posted on: August 22, 2017 by Alexander Herman

Last week, the International Criminal Court in the Hague pronounced on the amount in reparations to be paid in last year’s Al Mahdi case. And it was a hefty sum: €2.7 million has been levied against the defendant, Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, for his role in overseeing the destruction of ten cultural monuments in […]

Combating heritage crime: the international perspective

Posted on: August 9, 2017 by Emily Gould

As promised in our post last week, having looked at developments in the fight against heritage crime in the UK, we’re now turning our attention to the international context. We were considering in particular a number of interesting developments across a range of disciplines: the law, military practice, technology and community engagement. As regards the […]

Combating heritage crime: recent developments in the UK and around the globe

Posted on: July 31, 2017 by Emily Gould

Rarely a day goes by, it seems, without another concerning and saddening story about cultural heritage destruction. Whether it is the devastation of ancient sites in war-ravaged states such as Syria, Libya or Yemen or the ruin of yet another village church in the UK through lead theft, the loss is felt far and wide, […]

New Convention to tackle cultural property crime

Posted on: May 18, 2017 by Emily Gould

Tomorrow (Friday 19th May), a new convention intended to tackle international cultural property crime will be opened for signature by the Council of Europe (the ‘CoE’, Europe’s leading human rights organisation, including 47 member states, set up to promote democracy and protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe; not to be confused with […]

Unreasonable reasons…further thoughts on the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

Posted on: November 5, 2016 by Emily Gould

Following our post earlier this week on the second reading in the House of Commons of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill, we were interested to read an article in The Times the next day by Sir Edward Garnier, QC, MP and former solicitor-general.* Sir Edward had rehearsed, at some length during the Commons debate, the […]

Tackling threats to the historic environment from metal theft

Posted on: September 13, 2016 by Emily Gould

A fascinating and extremely productive day was had by all those attending the Heritage Crime Workshop organised by Historic England and Leicestershire Police last Friday (9th September). The topic was the theft of metal from historic sites and buildings. Delegates ranged from enforcement officers to representatives from the church, experts from heritage organisations and leading […]

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill scrutinised by Lords at Committee Stage

Posted on: July 4, 2016 by Emily Gould

It was heartening to see the strong support for the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill 2016 when it was debated at the Committee Stage in the House of Lords last week (28 June). The Lords discussed at length, and with some passion, the amendments tabled by a number of peers. The proposals for changes came […]

Report on Art Crime Workshop at QMUL

Posted on: June 22, 2016 by Emily Gould

Yesterday’s workshop on art crime at Queen Mary, University of London, which we mentioned on the blog last week, was a fascinating event, providing much food for thought. The workshop (part of an AHRC-funded series) focussed mainly on art theft, seeking to answer key questions such as: what is the prevalence of art theft internationally? […]