Most of the ocean and seabed is unexplored. A significant part of sites, vessels, aircrafts and their cargo and contents have been for centuries on the seabed. However, development in technology has rapidly increased the exploration and the exploitation of the seabed.
The international community of states took a first step for the protection of underwater cultural heritage (“UCH” hereafter ) in 1982, by adopting two provisions for this purpose in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
It took nearly thirty years to the international community of states to negotiate and adopt in 2001 a new multilateral treaty specifically devoted to the protection of the underwater cultural heritage:
- the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage
- its Annex which forms an integral part of the Convention: “Rules concerning activities directed at underwater cultural heritage”
The Convention has currently 55 States Parties
Professor Carducci can assist governments, public and private entities, by resolving disputes (as arbitrator or mediator) or providing expert advice (as expert for legal opinions) or advice and party’s representation (as legal counsel) as to the various legal matters that the protection of underwater cultural heritage raises, such as:
Implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage
Law of the sea as to UCH in international law (treaty and customary) and in domestic law, jurisdiction and rights of states as to UCH in territorial waters, Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf, in the Area, regional or bilateral cooperation agreements, sovereign immunity as to warships, government or military ships
Determination of title, salvage law, law of finds, removal of UCH from seabed
Activities directed at UCH, commercial exploitation of seabed
Protection in situ principle, cooperation, research and protection schemes between concerned states, public and private entities
Settlement of disputes between States Parties and between public and private entities
Prof.Carducci has been responsible for managing worldwide and implementing the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage
Before joining UNESCO he was Member of the Italian delegation of experts to the intergovernmental negotiation of the Convention. In that capacity he contributed to the elaboration of a consensual regime as to the sensitive issue of the applicability to the UCH of salvage law and law of finds. The draft text as to such regime was adopted without amendment by the Plenary and became art.4 of the Convention
As to his publications specifically as to underwater cultural heritage, see :
The Crucial Compromise on Salvage Law and the Law of Finds
Published (in English) in: The Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (Before and After the 2001 UNESCO Convention), Nijhoff 2003, p.193-206
The Expanding Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage : the New UNESCO Convention versus Existing International Law
Published (in English) in: The Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, Giuffrè 2002, p.134-216
New Developments in the Law of the Sea : the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage
Published (in English) in: American Journal of International Law, 2002, p.419-434
The UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage
Published (in Italian) in: Rivista di Diritto Internazionale, 2002, p.53-98
Definition of « Underwater Cultural Property » under the Convention
(a) “Underwater cultural heritage” means all traces of human existence having a cultural, historical or archaeological character which have been partially or totally under water, periodically or continuously, for at least 100 years such as:
(i) sites, structures, buildings, artefacts and human remains, together with their archaeological and natural context;
(ii) vessels, aircraft, other vehicles or any part thereof, their cargo or other contents, together with their archaeological and natural
(iii) objects of prehistoric character.
(b) Pipelines and cables placed on the seabed shall not be considered as underwater cultural heritage.
(c) Installations other than pipelines and cables, placed on the seabed and still in use, shall not be considered as underwater cultural heritage.