UNESCO’s Influence on the Development of International Criminal Law
This chapter discusses national legislation and its effectiveness in dealing with illicit traffic in cultural objects by criminal or administrative penalties. It looks at the terminology used in national and international law and also touches on new efforts to restrain demand in the States where collectors and dealers in art and antiquities are most represented. International criminal law began with certain specialized crimes such as piracy, genocide, later war crimes and crimes against humanity. UNESCO is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for education, science and cultural matters. However, we are now experiencing developments in other areas of law which have traditionally been handled as national matters but are now within the purview of various international organizations and, even more importantly, subject to judgment by international courts. These developments also involve certain organizations whose mandate does not specifically confer competence in criminal matters but whose activities inevitably produce effects on international criminal law itself.