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International Law and Cultural Heritage

— Initiatives

The effective formulation and implementation of international, regional and national law and policy in the field of international law and cultural heritage is central to our mandate.

We provide expert advice for key intergovernmental organisations and national bodies, and advocacy before international and national courts and tribunals.


World Heritage and Human Rights

The UNESCO Chair in partnership with UNESCO Chair collaborator Lynn Meskell (U Penn) and Claudia Liuzza (Duke) form the core of the World Heritage and Human Rights theme of the global initiative, OurWorldHeritage. The initiative is designed to bring together leading experts from around the global to address key issues on the World Heritage Convention in the run up to the 50th anniversary of its adoption in 2022.

As part of this initiative, the UNESCO Chair is co-hosting a series of webinars in 2021 on the theme of world heritage and human rights. With UTS hosting the webinars focussed on legal issues, special issue of the International Journal of Cultural Property, and White Paper on ‘UNESCO, World Heritage and Human Rights Compliance’ in Duke Global Working Paper Series.


Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development

The UNESCO Chair in partnerships with UNESCO Chair collaborator Yunxia Wang (Renmin Law School), Clementine Bories (Toulouse-Capitole Law School) and Sophie Vigneron (Kent Law School) from the 4Universities Consortium on Cultural Heritage Law (UTS, Renmin, Toulouse and Kent Law Schools) is hosting a series of events including webinars, public lectures and international conference in 2022 on the theme of Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development.

The UNESCO Chair is the Law coordinating member for Heritopolis UN-Habitat UNI MetroHubConsortium on Heritage and the Metropolis.


Model Provisions to Fight Illicit trafficking in Cultural Property

In 2021 the Meeting of States Parties to the 1970 UNESCO Convention recommended that UNESCO establish a Committee of Experts in the field of cultural property law to prepare Model Provisions on the Prevention and Fight against the Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property.

The UNESCO Chair was invited to join the Drafting Committee for the Model Provisions being prepared in 2022 for consultation and adoption in 2023.


Cultural Destruction and International Criminal Law

The Office of the Prosecutor – International Criminal Court (ICC-OTP) has commenced investigation on the Situation in the Ukraine (ICC—01/22) in respect of possible prosecution of international crimes under the Rome Statute.

The UNESCO Chair is facilitating these efforts by the ICC-OTP and similar international initiatives in respect of crimes related to the destruction and looting of cultural heritage.

‘Culture is the essence of being human.’

(UNESCO, 1970)

UTS acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation, the Bidiagal people and the Gamaygal people upon whose ancestral lands our university stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.

The UNESCO Chair and UTS supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its implementation in full.

UNESCO Chair in International Law and Cultural Heritage
+61 (02) 9514 9677
[email protected]
15 Broadway Ultimo NSW 2007