Second Protocol to the Hague Convention

    adopted at The Hague, 26 March 1999

    Criminal acts committed against cultural property in the course of the many conflicts that took place at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s highlighted a number of deficiencies in the implementation of the Hague Convention. A review of the Convention was initiated in 1991 to draw up a new agreement to improve the Convention taking account of the experience gained from recent conflicts and the development of international humanitarian and cultural property protection law since 1954. Consequently, a Second Protocol to the Hague Convention was adopted at a Diplomatic Conference held at The Hague in March 1999.

    The Second Protocol further elaborates the provisions of the Convention relating to safeguarding of and respect for cultural property and the conduct of hostilities; thereby providing greater protection than before. It creates a new category of enhanced protection for cultural heritage that is particularly important for humankind, enjoys proper legal protection at the national level, and is not used for military purposes. It also specifies the sanctions to be imposed for serious violations with respect to cultural property and defines the conditions in which individual criminal responsibility shall apply. Finally, it establishes a 12 member Intergovernmental Committee to oversee the implementation of the Second Protocol and de facto the Convention.

    The Second Protocol does not replace the Hague Convention; it complements it. In other words, the adoption of the Second Protocol has created two levels of protection: the basic level under the Hague Convention for its States Parties and the higher level of protection under the Second Protocol for its States Parties.

    Official texts:

    For more information: Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict


    • Year of approval :1999