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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Goode on Commercial Law

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The 1972 World Heritage Convention: A Commentary

Edited by: Francesco Francioni, Federico Lenzerini

ISBN13: 9780199291694
Published: March 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £105.00

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The World Heritage Convention (WHC) is the most comprehensive and widely ratified among UNESCO treaties on the protection of cultural and natural heritage. The Convention establishes a system of identification, presentation, and registration in an international List of cultural properties and natural sites of outstanding universal value.

Throughout the years the WHC has progressively attained almost universal recognition by the international community, and even the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has recently considered sites inscribed in the World Heritage List as "values especially protection by the international community." Besides, the WHC has been used as a model for other legal instruments dealing with cultural heritage, like the recently adopted (2003) Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

During its more than 30 years of life, the Convention has undergone extensive interpretation and evolution in its scope of application. Operational Guidelines, which are the implementing rules governing the operation of the Convention, have been extensively revised. New institutions such as the World Heritage Centre, have been established. New links, with the World Bank and the United Nations, have developed to take into account the economic and political dimension of world heritage conservation and management.

However, many legal issues remain to be clarified. For example, what is the meaning of "outstanding universal value" in the context of cultural and natural heritage? How far can we construe "universal value" in terms of representivity between the concept of "World Heritage" and the sovereignty of the territorial state? Should World Heritage reflect a reasonable balance between cultural properties and natural sites? Is consent of the territorial state required for the inscription of a World Heritage property in the List of World Heritage in Danger? What is the role of the World Heritage Centre in the management of the WHC?

No comprehensive work has been produced so far to deal with these and many other issues that have arisen in the interpretation and application of the WHC. This Commentary is intended to fill this gap by providing article by article analysis, in the light of the practice of the World Heritage Committee, other relevant treaty bodies, as well as of State parties and in the hope that it may be of use to academics, lawyers, diplomats and officials involved in the management and conservation of cultural and natural heritage of international significance.

  • Article by article analysis of the World Heritage Convention
  • Discusses topical issues raised by the destruction by the Taliban of the Buddhas of Bamiyán, and the shelling of Dubrovnik
  • Includes practical perspectives from the last 30 years, including the practice of the World Heritage Committee
  • Includes full text of the World Heritage Convention itself, and the newly revised Operational Guidelines

Art and Cultural Heritage Law
Preamble , ;F. Francioni
Definition of Cultural Heritage , ;A. Yusuf
Article I Cultural Landscape , ;K. Last;
Article 2 Definition of Natural Heritage , ;C. Redgwell
Article 3 Identification and Deliniation of World Heritage , ;B. Boer;
Articles 4-7 National and International Protection of the ultural and Natural Heritage ,; G. Carducci
Articles 8-11 World Heritage Committee and World Heritage List , ;T. Scovazzi;
Article 11 List of World Heritage in Danger , ;L. Condorelli
Article 12 Protection of Properties not Inscribed on the World Heritage List , ;F. Lenzerini
Article 13 World Heritage Committee and International Assistance , ;A. F. Vrdoljak;
Article 14 The Secretariat and Support of the World Heritage Committee ,;A. F. Vrdoljak
Articles 15-16 World Heritage Fund , ;F. Lenzerini;
Articles 17-18 Activities to Supprt of the World Heritage Fund ,; L. Patchett
VI Educational Programmes
Articles 19-20 International Assistance , ;A. Lemaistre and F. Lenzerini
Article 27-28 Educational Programmes , ;V. Vujicic-Lugassy and M. Richon
VIII Final Clauses
Articles 29 Reports , ;B. Boer;
Articles 30-22 and 35-38 Final Clauses , ;F. Lenzerini
Article 34 The Federal Clause ,; B.Boer ;

Series: Oxford Commentaries on International Law

The International Criminal Court: A Commentary on the Rome Statute 2nd ed ISBN 9780198739777
Published September 2016
Oxford University Press
£58.33 + £11.67 VAT
Diplomatic Law: Commentary on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 4th ed ISBN 9780198703969
Published January 2016
Oxford University Press
The United Nations Convention Against Torture: A Commentary ISBN 9780199280001
Published March 2008
Oxford University Press