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Constructing Victims of Heritage Destruction: Lessons from the Al Mahdi Reparations Order



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Dachlan, Rangga Aditya 


This dissertation looks at the enforcement of legal instruments governing the protection of heritage and the extent to which such enforcement mechanism may be useful for the protection of heritage. It delves into the Reparations Order in the Al Mahdi case to see how the International Criminal Court constructs the notion of victims in the aftermath of the destruction of heritage sites in Timbuktu. This construction entails (i) the identification of victim groups; (ii) the assessment of their harm; and (iii) the determination of reparation type and modalities. Scrutinising the Trial Chamber’s use of the World Heritage Convention, this dissertation reveals gaps in all three areas, privileging local victims at the expense of national and international victims. Wide discretionary powers were found to have chiefly motivated the Court’s uneven analyses and could adversely affect its decisionmaking in future cases. In spite of its limitations, the Court demonstrated usefulness by achieving some expansion in its remit in the protection of heritage and through its role as a figurative “loudspeaker” in publicising the punitive consequence of heritage destruction to the global public.





Viejo-Rose, Dacia


cultural heritage, destruction, international criminal court, al mahdi, victim


Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge
Jardine Foundation