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The War of Aggression Against Ukraine, Cultural Property and Genocide: Why it is Imperative to Take a Close Look at Cultural Property

For too long, a great deal of energy has been invested in trying to decipher obscure statements made by Vladimir Putin (a true “masterclass of disinformation”: Åslund 2021; cf. Kappeler 2021). Now that Putin has started a war of aggression against Ukraine, it is high time that we take his denials of Ukrainian statehood and the appropriation of Ukrainian history seriously. His words have gained a whole different meaning against the backdrop of an armed aggression, in the course of which one of the first missiles hit a television tower in Kyiv just located next to the site of the Holocaust memorial Babyn Yar. The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy underscored the highly symbolic impact of this attack on the site of one of the largest WW2 mass graves in Europe: “Such a missile strike shows that for many people in Russia, our Kyiv is completely foreign. They know nothing about our capital. About our history […] But they have an order to erase our history. Erase our country. Erase us all.” In…

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Deep Seabed Mining in the Area: is international investment law relevant?

The last decade has seen a renewed interest in the commercial exploitation of deep seabed minerals located beyond national jurisdiction. However, the respective responsibilities of deep sea miners and of their sponsoring states in this process have not been clarified fully. This short piece argues that international investment law is part of the legal framework applicable…

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Who Can Apply to Add Sites Situated in Disputed territory to the World Heritage List?

Dr Shlomit Wallerstein is a CUF Lecturer in Law at the University of Oxford and Fellow of St Peter's College, Oxford. Recently (on 29 June 2012), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) accepted the Palestinian application  for the recognition of the Church of Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route as a…

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UNESCO Approves Palestinian Membership Bid – A Case for US Countermeasures Against the Organization?

Christiane Ahlborn is Ph.D. Candidate at the Amsterdam Center for International Law and member of the project on Shared Responsibility in International Law (SHARES) On 31 October 2011, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) approved the bid of Palestine for full membership with the necessary two-thirds majority. Although 107 UNESCO States voted in favor of Palestinian…

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