Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on cultural heritage after Brexit

Kristin Hausler, a head of the British HEURIGHT team, has just published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on cultural heritage after Brexit, which discusses: the current EU framework for the movement of cultural goods, the benefits of the current system, what happens after Brexit, as well as the potential future arrangements between the UK and the EU. This FAQ is intended to present a very short outline of the main issues relating to cultural heritage post-Brexit, with a particular focus on the movement of cultural goods.

It can be accessed at the BIICL website.

Armed Non-State Actors and Cultural Heritage in Armed Conflict

On 14 December 2017, the International Journal of Cultural Property published an article co-authored by Marina Lostal (Hague University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands), Kristin Hausler (BIICL and a member of the HEURIGHT team) and Pascal Bongard (Head of the Policy and Legal Unit at Geneva Call, Switzerland), entitled “Armed Non-State Actors and Cultural Heritage in Armed Conflict”.


This article presents the preliminary findings of a scoping study that Geneva Call is conducting to understand the existing dynamics between armed non-state actors (ANSAs) and cultural heritage. Geneva Call is a Swiss-based nongovernmental organization dedicated to promoting the respect of international humanitarian law by ANSAs. The study centres on three case studies—Syria, Iraq, and Mali—on which information has been obtained through desk and field research, interviews with ANSAs operating in those countries, and with leading organizations committed to the protection of cultural heritage, globally or regionally. The article first maps the various attitudes of ANSAs toward cultural heritage, highlighting both positive and negative examples from current practices. Then it analyzes the response of specialized organizations to the impact of ANSAs on cultural heritage and their level of engagement with these actors on cultural heritage issues. Finally, the conclusion offers some tentative recommendations to enhance the respect of cultural heritage by ANSAs in non-international armed conflicts.

Individual Responsibility for Deliberate Destruction of Cultural Heritage: Contextualizing the ICC Judgment in the Al-Mahdi Case

On 15 November 2017, the Chinese Journal of International Law published online a study by Karolina Wierczyńska and Andrzej Jakubowski from the Polish research team, entitled “Individual Responsibility for Deliberate Destruction of Cultural Heritage: Contextualizing the ICC Judgment in the Al-Mahdi Case“.



This article analyses how the International Criminal Court dealt, in the case of Al-Mahdi, with the crime of intentional attacks directed against protected cultural heritage sites. The case is discussed in the context of the previous experience and jurisprudence of other international criminal tribunals in prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators of cultural heritage crimes. In this respect, the article examines the complementary function of international criminal justice in relation to the shortcomings of national criminal jurisdictions. It also deals with a set of fundamental issues emerging at the junction of the international protection of cultural heritage and individual criminal responsibility, being the gravity of international crimes; cultural genocide as affecting the identity of a group; and the primary obligation of States to exercise criminal jurisdiction over individuals. The core aim of the article is thus to critically analyse the extent to which the ICC judgment in Al-Mahdi may be seen as a breakthrough towards a more efficient international mechanism for counteracting impunity in crimes against cultural heritage.

New HEURIGHT publication by Kristin Hausler and Richard Mackenzie-Gray Scott

We are pleased to announce that our new HEURIGHT paper, authored by Kristin Hausler and Richard Mackenzie-Gray Scott, entitled ‘Outside the Debate? The Potential Impact of Brexit for Cultural Heritage in the UK’ has just been published in the prestigious Art Antiquity and Law, Volume XXII, Issue 2, July 2017, pp. 101-117.



Following the European Union (EU) referendum of 24 June 2016, the EU Single Market has been the key talking point, with trade deals, investment partnerships and Schengen being the other main points of discussion. Cultural heritage, which refers to all forms of tangible and intangible culture that have been inherited from past generations, has so far been left outside this debate. This article provides an objective assessment of the risks posed to this heritage in the UK if it is no longer part of the EU, and the factors that the UK will need to consider as it negotiates its exit from the EU. In particular, it considers the legislation and funding streams that the UK benefits from as an EU Member State, which Brexit puts in jeopardy.

New HEURIGHT publication by Hanna Schreiber

We are pleased to announce that our new HEURIGHT paper, authored by Hanna Schreiber and entitled ‘Intangible cultural heritage and soft power – exploring the relationship’ has just been published in the International Journal of Intangible Heritage.


This article presents the ‘soft power’ concept (Joseph Nye) and explores its relationship with the concept of intangible cultural heritage. Its main points of reference are thus the UNESCO 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as well as two chosen ‘soft power’ rankings: Soft Power 30 and the Elcano Global Presence Index. Member states of the European Union, as well as countries occupying important places in these rankings like the United States, the United Kingdom or China are of particular relevance. The author points out that a new kind of discourse has emerged alongside the ‘Authorised Heritage Discourse’ (Laurajane Smith) – the ‘Intangible Heritage Discourse’. She argues that UNESCO plays the role of an arbiter in both of these discourses, and subsequently analyses their possible impact on the position of particular countries in the ‘soft power’ rankings.

Directive 2014/60/EU and the Movement of Cultural Objects in the European Union’ (2016) Santander Art and Cultural Law Review 2(2)

We are pleased to announce that the 2nd issue (2016) of the Santander Art and Culture Law Review (SAACLR) has been published. As in the case of the former three issues of our journal, this one is dedicat­ed to one main theme. For the present issue we chose the movement of cultural goods in the European Union (EU), with particular focus on Directive 2014/60/EU, which recasts the harmonised regime for the return of cultural objects unlawfully displaced through the internal borders of the EU Member States. The articles in­cluded in four consecutive sections of this issue (research articles, commentaries, varia, debuts) and in the appendix annexed to it explore this topic from different perspectives (national, international, institutional, practical etc.). This collection is the fruit of cooperation between the SAACLR and the consortium of HEURIGHT. The majority of contributions were presented and debated during a conference held in Warsaw (Poland) on 21-22 March 2016 at the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy Sciences, while some were received in response to an open call for papers circulated earlier in the year.

We hope that you will enjoy this new issue of the “Santander Art and Culture Law Review”. We encourage you to contact the Editorial Board ( if you wish to reply to the call for papers, or just to express your opinion regarding the content of the volume.


Online version available at:

New HEURIGHT publication: Enhancing the mobility of collections and access to cultural heritage: immunity of cultural objects from seizure in Poland

We are pleased to announce that our new HEURIGHT paper (authored by Paulina Gwoździewicz-Matan and Andrzej Jakubowski) ‘Enhancing the mobility of collections and access to cultural heritage: immunity of cultural objects from seizure in Poland’ has just been published on Taylor & Francis Online (International Journal of Cultural Policy). 50 free eprints are now available. Everyone who clicks on the link will be taken to our full article: