Category Archives: Criminal Law

Art and Dishonesty: The New Test

Posted on: August 12, 2020 by Geoffrey Bennett

When the worlds of Art and Crime collide consideration of the issue of ‘dishonesty’ is not likely to be far behind. Not only is it a crucial ingredient in theft it also permeates other offences such as fraud under the Fraud Act 2006, or Conspiracy to Defraud at common law, and the specific offence of […]

Man jailed following attempted theft of Magna Carta

Posted on: July 28, 2020 by Paul Stevenson

Readers of this blog may recall the 2018 attempted theft by Mark Royden of Salisbury Cathedral’s copy of Magna Carta. Reports confirm that Royden attacked the document’s protective case before being pursued by members of the public, including American tourists, cathedral staff, and stonemasons, who detained him in a works yard outside. In a welcome […]

‘Embarrassingly out of kilter’ law destroys 46,000-year-old Aboriginal sacred sites

Posted on: June 17, 2020 by Elizabeth Pearson

The destruction of 46,000-year-old sacred Aboriginal rock shelters in Western Australia has prompted a national inquiry and calls for urgent reform of Indigenous cultural heritage law. During a mine expansion project, Rio Tinto detonated explosives in the Juukan Gorge in May, destroying two deep cave sites of the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People (PKKP). […]

Recent report on the illicit antiquities trade receives mixed response

Posted on: June 10, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

A UNESCO-backed research project into the illicit trade in cultural property in Germany has recently released its final report. The ‘ILLICID Project’, launched by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, aimed to increase understanding of illicit trafficking networks and financial flows linked to organised crime and terrorism. However, the findings of the final […]

A final judgment? Court of Appeal rules in favour of the Ivory Act 2018

Posted on: June 5, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

We have been following the debate over the UK’s position on ivory on the IAL blog over the past few years. The latest development has seen the Court of Appeal uphold the decision of the High Court, finding the Ivory Act 2018 to be lawful. What does this mean for the future of the ivory […]

Art Crime in Current Times

Posted on: May 1, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

There is no doubt that the current times have caused extraordinary changes to daily life. There have been major impacts on every aspect of society, including how, when and where crime will occur. Thankfully, in general, crime has fallen since the introduction of lockdown measures in the UK. However, as noted in this article by […]

UK Guidance on Anti-Money Laundering released for the art market

Posted on: March 10, 2020 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

The highly anticipated guidance on implementing and complying with the new anti-money laundering rules for the art trade was finally released a few weeks ago. The lengthy document, which totals over 100 pages, was in fact prepared by the British Art Market Federation (BAMF), and has received formal approval by the HMRC. As such, it […]

Recent case of ‘stolen’ Turing memorabilia highlights the complexities of the law of title

Posted on: February 13, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

An intriguing series of events has led the US Government to commence court action over a collection of objects associated with Alan Turing, the British mathematician. Alan Turing is famous for his involvement in breaking the German Enigma code during WW2 and for his contribution to the field of computer science. This case raises questions […]

Combatting Money Laundering in the Art Trade: Changes for Europe and the UK

Posted on: January 10, 2020 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

Important changes are imminent for the art market as the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive enters into force in the UK this Friday, the 10th of January 2020. The directive has been hurriedly transposed into UK law through the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019, which were laid before Parliament on the 20th […]

‘Bad things come in threes’ in the world of art crime…

Posted on: November 26, 2019 by Emily Gould

It has been a tumultuous fortnight in Europe in the world of art crime. First, we heard about the audacious attempt to steal two Rembrandts from London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery – thankfully unsuccessful with the perpetrators being apprehended and the paintings recovered within the grounds of the gallery. Then, yesterday, news broke of a heist […]