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Title: Law and underwater cultural heritage : a Malaysian perspective
Author: Mohd Nor, Mahmud Zuhdi
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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The development of legal protection for underwater cultural heritage in Malaysia has been painfully slow. Although the realisation of the need to protect this endangered heritage from human interferences went as far back as the 1980s, it is the legal debates at UNESCO (1996- 2001), which have had a profound effect on the status of maritime archaeology in Malaysia as seen today. The UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage 2001 (2001 UNESCO Convention) was adopted to amplify the basic legal regime provided by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (1982 UNCLOS). Although many of the problems have been addressed with the adoption of the 2001 UNESCO Convention, certain issues remain unclear, compounded by the lack of support by certain major maritime States. The objective of this thesis is two -fold. First, it seeks to examine the main features and substantive aspects of the 2001 UNESCO Convention and to make recommendations concerning Malaysia's ratification of the Convention. Secondly, this thesis will examine the present domestic legal framework protecting the underwater cultural heritage in Malaysia. Various international treaties, draft convention reports, legislation, cases, legal commentaries and other documents were studied for this purpose. This thesis also surveys the views of certain key government officials, archaeologists and private salvage companies in Malaysia. The writing of this thesis is divided into six main chapters. Chapter I gives an account of the socio- economic and the legal antecedents leading to the adoption of the 2001 UNESCO Convention on 2nd November 2001. Chapter II explores the core issues underpinning the Convention from a Malaysian perspective, a country rich with potential for discovery of the underwater cultural heritage but still at its infancy in underwater maritime archaeology. This chapter is then followed by Chapter III, which looks at the organisational aspects of heritage management in Malaysia. Chapters IV and V examine the present legal framework in Malaysia affecting the protection of its underwater cultural heritage. Chapter VI concludes the thesis with findings and recommendations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available