Practice Relating to Rule 38. Attacks against Cultural Property
Under Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999), “destruction or damage of historical monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples” in an international or non-international armed conflict is a punishable crime.
Georgia’s Law on Cultural Heritage (2007) states:
Article 1. Purpose of the Law.
This law aims to protect the cultural heritage and to regulate the legal relations arising in this field.
Article 2. Application of the Law.
The present Law applies to the cultural heritage existent on the whole territory of Georgia.
Georgia [also] protects the cultural heritage of Georgia situated outside [its] territory …
Article 5. The Authority of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia in the Field of Cultural Heritage.
Within the authority established by the Georgian legislation, the Ministry:
m) During hostilities or a state of emergency, protects cultural heritage in accordance with the rules of international law.
Article 31. Responsibility for the Damage Inflicted on or the Destruction of Cultural Heritage.
Intentional impact on a monument that causes irreparable damage or destruction entails [individual] criminal responsibility … in accordance with Georgian legislation.
Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999), taking into account amendments up to 2017, states:
CHAPTER XXII[^2] - International Crime in the Area of Cultural Heritage
Article 259[^5] - Violation of international regulations for protecting cultural valuables during armed conflict
Intentional violation of international regulations for protecting cultural valuables that are under enhanced protection during inter-state and intra-state armed conflict, in particular:
c) undertaking a military attack against a monument that is under enhanced protection, against the buildings of museums, libraries, archives or special hiding places designed for storing cultural valuables in case of armed conflict or use of these buildings or their areas for military operations, –
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of five to ten years.
CHAPTER XLVII – Crime against Humanity, Peace and Security and against … International Humanitarian Law
Article 411 - Intentional breach of the provisions of … international humanitarian law during armed conflicts
1. Intentional breach of the provisions of … international humanitarian law during armed conflicts between states or within a state, in particular:
j) assault on the property of the adversary party, including historical monuments, works of art or places of worship as on a part of the people’s cultural heritage, which has resulted in their destruction or seizure and which has not been caused by military expediency, –
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of ten to fifteen years.