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The Declaration on Jurisdictional Immunities


The document prepared by the Czech Republic and Austria was signed by the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs on November 18, 2013. The purpose of the Declaration is to strengthen the legal position of States when lending State-owned cultural property for public displays abroad.

The Declaration was elaborated as a legally non-binding document, reaffirming the rule of customary international law that State-owned property that is part of cultural heritage, archives or cultural, historical or scientific exhibitions, while on public display abroad, is protected against any form of seizure. The signatories of the Declaration also reaffirm their commitment to this rule of customary international law on State-owned cultural property in relation to any dispute that may arise in connection with cross-border loans of such property intended for public display. The above-mentioned rule of customary international law has been already codified in the 2004 United Nation Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property; nevertheless this Convention has not entered into force yet.

The Declaration is opened for signature to all member states and observer states of the Council of Europe, which has become an official depositary of this Declaration and keeps the signed originals of the Declaration and updates the list of its signatories. The Declaration was signed by 16 states so far. The updated list of signatories can be found on the website of the Council of Europe .


The text of the Declaration