European Convention on Offences Relating to Cultural Property

European Convention on Offences Relating to Cultural Property

 

Part I

Definitions

Article 1

For the purposes of this Convention:

a. “offence”comprises acts dealt with under the criminal law and
those dealt with under the legal provisions listed in Appendix I to this
Convention on condition that where an administrative authority is
competent to deal with the offence it must be possible for the person
concerned to have the case tried by a court;

b. “proceedings”means any procedure instituted in respect of an
offence;

c. “judgment”means any final decision delivered by a criminal court
or by an administrative body as a result of a procedure instituted in
pursuance of one of the legal provisions listed in Appendix I.

d. “sanction”means any punishment or measure incurred or pronounced
in respect of an offence.

Part II

Scope

Article 2

1. This Convention shall apply to the cultural property listed in
Appendix II, paragraph 1.

2. Any Contracting State may, at any time, declare that for the purposes
of this Convention it also considers any one or more of the categories of
property listed in Appendix II, paragraph 2, as cultural property.

3. Any Contracting State may, at any time, declare that for the purposes
of this Convention it also considers as cultural property any category of
movable or immovable property, presenting an artistic, historical,
archaeological, scientific or other cultural interest, that is not
included in Appendix II.

Article 3

1. For the purposes of this Convention, the acts and omissions listed in
Appendix III, paragraph 1, are offences relating to cultural property.

2. Any Contracting State may, at any time, declare that, for the
purposes of this Convention, it also deems to be offences relating to
cultural property the acts and omissions listed in any one or more
sub-paragraphs of Appendix III, paragraph 2.

3. Any Contracting State may, at any time, declare that, for the
purposes of this Convention, it also deems to be offences relating to
cultural property any one or more acts and omissions that affect cultural
property and are not listed in Appendix III.

Part III

Protection of cultural property

Article 4

Each Party shall take appropriate measures to enhance public awareness of
the need to protect cultural property.

Article 5

The Parties shall take appropriate measures with a view to co-operating
in the prevention of offences relating to cultural property and the
discovery of cultural property removed subsequent to such offences.

PART IV

Restitution of cultural property

Article 6

The Parties undertake to co-operate with a view to the restitution of
cultural property found on their territory, which has been removed from
the territory of another Party subsequent to an offence relating to
cultural property committed in the territory of a Party, notably in
conformity with the provisions that follow.

Article 7

1. Any Party that is competent under Article 13 shall, if it thinks fit,
notify as soon as possible the Party or Parties to whose territory
cultural property has been removed, or is believed to have been removed,
subsequent to an offence relating to cultural property.

2. Any Party from whose territory cultural property has been removed, or
is believed to have been removed, subsequent to an offence relating to
cultural property, shall notify as soon as possible the Party that is
competent in accordance with Article 13, paragraph 1, sub-paragraph e.

3. If such cultural property is found on the territory of a Party which
has been duly notified, that Party shall immediately inform the Party or
Parties concerned.

4. If cultural property is found on the territory of a Party and if that
Party has reasonable grounds to believe that the property in question has
been removed from the territory of another Party subsequent to an offence
relating to cultural property, it shall immediately inform the other
Party or Parties presumed to be concerned.

5. The communications referred to in the preceding paragraphs shall
contain all information concerning the identification of the property in
question, the offence subsequent to which it was removed and the
circumstances concerning the discovery.

6. The Parties shall ensure the fullest possible distribution of the
notifications which they receive pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 1.

Article 8

1. Each Party shall execute in the manner provided for by its law any
letters rogatory relating to proceedings addressed to it by the competent
authorities of a Party that is competent in accordance with Article 13
for the purpose of procuring evidence or transmitting articles to be
produced in evidence, records or documents.

2. Each Party shall execute in the manner provided for by its law any
letters rogatory relating to proceedings addressed to it by the competent
authorities of a Party that is competent in accordance with Article 13
for the purpose of seizure and restitution of cultural property which has
been removed to the territory of the requested Party subsequent to an
offence relating to cultural property. Restitution of the property in
question is however subject to the conditions laid down in the law of the
requested Party.

3. Each Party shall likewise execute any letters rogatory relating to
the enforcement of judgments delivered by the competent authorities of
the requesting Party in respect of an offence relating to cultural
property for the purpose of seizure and restitution of cultural property
found on the territory of the requested Party to the person designated by
the judgment or that person’s successors in title. To this end the
Parties shall take such legislative measures as they may consider
necessary and shall determine the conditions under which such letters
rogatory are executed.

4. Where there is a request for extradition, the return of the cultural
property mentioned in paragraphs 2 and 3 shall take place even if
extradition, having been agreed to, cannot be carried out owing to the
death or escape of the person claimed or to other reasons of fact.

5. The requested Party may not refuse to return the cultural property on
the grounds that it has seized, confiscated or otherwise acquired rights
to the property in question as the result of a fiscal or customs offence
committed in respect of that property.

Article 9

1. Unless the Parties otherwise agree, letters rogatory shall be in the
language of the requested Party, or in the official language of the
Council of Europe that is indicated by the requested Party in a
declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe,
or where no such declaration has been made in either of the official
languages of the Council of Europe.

2. They shall indicate:

a. the authority making the request,

b. the object of and the reason for the request,

c. the identity of the person concerned,

d. the detailed identification of the cultural property in question,

e. a summary of the facts as well as the offence they constitute

and shall be accompanied by an authenticated or certified copy of the
judgment whose enforcement is requested, in the cases covered by Article
8, paragraph 3.

Article 10

Evidence or documents transmitted pursuant to this Convention shall not
require any form of authentication.

Article 11

Execution of requests under this Convention shall not entail refunding of
expenses except those incurred by the attendance of experts and the
return of cultural property.

 

Conclusion

Notes

See Also

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

Conventions: Chronological Index 1971-1990, Cultural Protection conventions, European Convention on Offences Relating to Cultural Property 2, European Convention on Offences Relating to Cultural Property 3.


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