At 11.06am on Thursday 23 February the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act received Royal Assent.
The UK is now set to become the first permanent member of the UN Security Council to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property and BOTH it’s Protocols, a move we hope other countries will follow. This reflects years of hard work by UK Blue Shield.
The process for formal ratification of the 1954 Hague Convention and accession to the Protocols:
1. The Second Protocol was laid before Parliament on 6th February under a process set out in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. It has to lie for 21 sitting days (that is days when Parliament is sitting) – this period ends on 16th March. (The Convention and First Protocol were laid before Parliament under an earlier version of this procedure back in the 1950s and do not need to be laid again).
2. Once the process described above has been completed, FCO will prepare the instruments of ratification and accession and send them to the Palace for Her Majesty’s signature.
3. FCO will send the signed instruments to UNESCO. Once they have been accepted and registered by UNESCO, the UK is deemed to have ratified the Convention and acceded to the Protocols. We currently expect this to be in mid-April.
4. The Convention and Protocols will come into force for the UK three months after ratification/accession. We are planning to bring the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act into force at the same time.
(Text taken from a lovely summary by the Heritage Alliance)