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Declaration on Jurisdictional Immunities of State Owned Cultural Property

Declaration
Strasbourg, France 23 March 2017
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Mr Ambassador João Maria CABRAL, handed the Declaration on Jurisdictional Immunities of State Owned Cultural Property signed by Mr Augusto SANTOS SILVA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Portugal, on the occasion of the 53rd meeting of the CAHDI held in Strasbourg on 23-24 March 2017, and in presence of Ms Susana VAZ PATTO, Head of Department of International Law from the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Ambassador João Maria CABRAL, handed the Declaration on Jurisdictional Immunities of State Owned Cultural Property signed by Mr Augusto SANTOS SILVA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Portugal, on the occasion of the 53rd meeting of the CAHDI held in Strasbourg on 23-24 March 2017, and in presence of Ms Susana VAZ PATTO, Head of Department of International Law from the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Background

At the 45th meeting of the CAHDI (Strasbourg, 25-26 March 2013), the delegation of the Czech Republic, supported by the delegations of Austria and of the Netherlands, presented an initiative aimed at elaborating a Declaration in support of the recognition of the customary nature of the pertinent provisions of the United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property (2004) in order to guarantee the immunity of State cultural property on loan. This Declaration was presented at the 46th meeting of the CAHDI (Strasbourg, 16-17 September 2013). On this occasion, it was recalled that this Declaration had been elaborated as a legally non-binding document expressing a common understanding on opinio juris on the basic rule that certain kind of State property (cultural property on exhibition) enjoyed jurisdictional immunity.

The Declaration was jointly signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria in Brussels on 18 November 2013 and opened for signature by other States. To date, the Declaration has been signed, in addition to Austria and the Czech Republic by:

  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia on 8 January 2014;
  • the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia on 28 February 2014;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on 4 June 2014;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania on 28 August 2014;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia on 17 March 2015;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania on 10 April 2015;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on 15 April 2015;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the French Republic on 28 April 2015;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia on 25 June 2015;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium on 26 August 2015;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus on 14 September 2015;
  • the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg on 30 October 2015;
  • the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland on 1 April 2016;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on 20 May 2016;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary on 18 August 2016;
  • the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland on 14 September 2016;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal on 21 February 2017;
  • the Secretary for the Holy See's Relations with States on 22 May 2017.

Several other states are expected to sign the Declaration in the near future.

 

TEXT OF THE DECLARATION

 

List of signatories

Declaration of the Czech Republic and Austria

Declaration of Geogia

Declaration of Latvia

Declaration of Romania

Declaration of Slovakia

Declaration of Estonia

Declaration of Albania

Declaration of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Declaration of France (French only)

Declaration of Armenia

Declaration of the Kingdom of Belgium (French only)

Declaration of the Republic of Belarus

Declaration of Luxembourg

Declaration of Ireland

Declaration of the Russian Federation

Declaration of Hungary

Declaration of Finland

Declaration of Portugal

Declaration of the Holy See



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