International Crimes Against Cultural Heritage: The ICC's Mali Judgment

Event date: 
6 Oct 2016
1:00pm to 2:00pm
The Boardroom, Level 2, UNSW Law
ICC and Cultural Heritage
Tara Gutman, Lucas Lixinski & Sarah Williams
Australian Red Cross and UNSW Law
Any questions? Call us on 9385 1803

In late September 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to deliver its judgment in the case involving the situation in Mali. This case is a first for the ICC on two fronts. It is the first time that an accused has pleaded guilty to all charges. And it is the first international criminal trial to focus on the war crime of destruction of cultural heritage (the World Heritage site of Timbuktu). This panel will discuss the judgment’s repercussions for the development of the law with respect to these two areas, and also address important issues such as the identity of victims in a crime against cultural heritage, the types of reparations that can be ordered in international law for the destruction of cultural sites, and the effects of contriteness and repentance in the operation of international justice. Underlying many of these debates is the question: why should we focus on cultural heritage in a conflict where thousands of lives have been lost?

Tara Gutman is Legal Adviser and Government Relations in the International Humanitarian Law Department at Australian Red Cross.  Her role is concerned with supporting the Australian government to respect and promote IHL. Tara’s previous roles include legal consultant to the Khmer Rouge Trials Taskforce (2003-2006), Visiting Professional at the ICC and Visiting Scholar at George Washington University. She has recently published on domestic Cambodian genocide trials in Trials for International Crimes in Asia (K. Sellers, ed., CUP 2016).  

Dr Lucas Lixinski is Senior Lecturer at UNSW Law. He sits on the Executive Committee of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, and the Board of Editors of the International Journal of Heritage Studies. His primary research is on the international legal protection of cultural heritage.

Sarah Williams is an Associate Professor at UNSW Law. Sarah was the Dorset Fellow in Public International Law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, a Senior Legal Researcher at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a Lecturer at Durham Law School, University of Durham. Her research interests include international criminal law, international humanitarian law and international disaster law.


The seminar is co-hosted by the AHRCentre and the Australian Red Cross.