‘THEY TOOK OUR FLAG!’ SHOULD NORTHERN IRELAND’S DECISION MAKERS VIEW MNEMONIC HERITAGE EMBLEMS AS ‘CULTURAL EASEMENTS’ IN INTERNATIONAL LAW?

Alice Diver

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Abstract

This article looks to the recent ‘removed flag’ controversies in Northern Ireland to argue that post-conflict decision-making should be underpinned by principles of international human rights law and by a checklist of fiduciary obligations for decision-makers to actively peace-keep. Useful guidance on cultural property rights is drawn upon from amongst indigenous case law on cultural easements; political decision-makers are framed as the trustees of a peace process that morally obliges them to maintain a meaningful level of community involvement and consensus and that is underpinned by post-conflict norms of tolerance and mutual respect. The article argues that long-held ‘other-side’ fears and perceptions should be afforded a meaningful level of respect, as should symbolic items of cultural heritage that ‘belong’ to newly minoritised sections of the community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-97
JournalMacquarie Law Journal
Volume13
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

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