Practice Relating to Rule 38. Attacks against Cultural Property
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment.
Norway’s Penal Code (1902), as amended in 2008, states: “Any person is liable to punishment for a war crime who in connection with an armed conflict … directs an attack against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, [or] cultural monuments”.
At the CDDH, Norway explained that it would vote against Article 20 bis of the draft Additional Protocol II (now Article 16) because:
Some of the most essential guarantees for the protection of basic human rights had been deleted from draft Protocol II. Their conscience as human beings prevented the members of [the Norwegian] delegation from supporting the adoption of measures according more favourable treatment to cultural objects than to human beings. Their attitude did not relate in any way to the aims of Article 20 bis
and [the Norwegian] delegation had accordingly voted for the Article in Committee.