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Maritime Legacies and the Law

Effective Legal Governance of WWI Wrecks Craig Forrest, TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, Australia
The recent centenary of WWI has prompted a shift in the way attention is focused on legacy shipwrecks. This timely book considers the development of the laws that apply to these wrecks and the issues that surround them, and deftly analyses the adequacy of the existing legal framework to fulfil its promise of protecting legacy wrecks for future generations as historical and archaeological resources, memorials and, most importantly, as maritime war graves.
Extent: c 288 pp
Hardback Price: $135.00 Web: $121.50
Publication Date: October 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78471 724 7
Availability: Not yet published
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78471 725 4

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  • Law - Academic
  • Cultural Heritage and Art Law
  • Maritime Law
  • Public International Law
The shipwrecks of WWI constitute a vast, dispersed and distinctive underwater legacy. This insightful book addresses the need to rethink how they can be protected, through an examination of both private and public international law and the conventions governing them.

The recent centenary of WWI has prompted a shift in the way attention is focused on legacy wrecks. In this timely book, Craig Forrest considers both the development and current state of the laws that apply to these wrecks, as well as the issues that surround them, such as regulated and unregulated salvage and the potentially hazardous nature of wrecks left in situ. The author then deftly analyses the adequacy of the existing legal framework, in particular the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, to fulfil its promise of protecting legacy wrecks for future generations as historical and archaeological resources, memorials and, more importantly, as maritime war graves.

This incisive book will prove necessary reading for all with an interest in underwater cultural heritage and its protection, including academics, practitioners and managers, government officials and policymakers. Underwater archaeologists and others interested in maritime law and naval history more broadly will also find its unique analysis useful.
‘A timely piece of legal writing on maritime war graves, a topic generally neglected in the literature, offered by the specialist on this question from a law of the sea and maritime law perspective. Answering the main challenges posed by the subject through a masterful use of practice, jurisprudence and normative developments, Craig Forrest offers a complete analysis of, as well as solutions to, the problem of protecting these legacies beneath the waters that are simultaneously venerated places, archaeological sites and public properties of the flag States.'
– Mariano Aznar, Universitat Jaume I, Spain

'An excellent and much-needed overview of the cultural heritage of the Great War at sea and its relationship to the law. Craig Forrest has produced a readable narrative which goes beyond dry legal argument to contextualise the archaeological and regulatory landscape as it affects nations and sea users today. An impressive, comprehensive and important contribution.'
– Innes McCartney, Bournemouth University, UK
Contents: 1. The War at Sea 2. The Legacy 3. The Legal Framework 4. Legacy Wrecks as Objects of Salvage 5. Legacy Wrecks as Threats 6. Legacy Wrecks as Historical and Archaeological Sites 7. Legacy Wrecks as Memorials and Maritime War Graves 8. The UK and the UCH Convention 9. The Future Index