Mark S. Ellis


However, the case’s firm grounding in international law, and the clear connection between a category of cultural-property crimes and attempts at cultural erasure, challenges the notion that these are second-rate crimes. The case reinforces the legal principle that attacks on culture, like attacks against people, constitute war crimes subject to international criminal prosecution. The Al Mahdi case will be significant in determining how the international community should best deal with such abhorrent attacks in the future.