ARCA's third annual International Art Crime Conference will begin next Saturday, July 9th, with the panel "Harmonizing Police Cooperation and Returns" with Judge Arthur Tompkins, Ludo Block and Saskia Hugnagel.
Judge Arthur Tompkins, a District Court Judge in New Zealand, will present “Paying a Ransom: The Theft of 96 Rare Medals and the Reward Payments”:
In December 2007, 96 medals were stolen from New Zealand’s National Army Museum. Included were a number of Victoria Crosses, including one of only three Victoria Cross and bar combinations. Conservatively valued at over $5 million, the theft caused national and international outrage. A privately funded, substantial reward was offered for information leading to the medals’ return. In February 2008, after negotiations conducted with the perpetrators through a lawyer, the medals were recovered and substantial reward payments were made. Subsequently, two men were convicted of the thefts, imprisoned, and the reward payments were recovered. Using this crime as a case study, and referring also to other art and heritage crime reward cases, this presentation will traverse the arguments for and against the payment of ransom or reward in art and heritage crime cases, and legal issues relating to the payment of rewards in different jurisdictions will be considered. Psychological research and the experience gained with, and research conducted in relation to, ransom-seeking pirates off the coast of Somalia, will also be examined.
Arthur Tompkins has extensive experience in criminal trials and civil matters. Since graduating with a Masters of Law with First Class Honours from Cambridge University in England, Tompkins has pursued advances and uses of DNA in criminal cases and, in 2007, was elected an Honorary Member of Interpol’s DNA Monitoring Expert Group. In 2009, he presented “A Proposal for a Permanent International Art Crime Tribunal” at ARCA’s Inaugural Art Crime Conference. He is currently an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Waikato’s School of Law and a Visiting Faculty member for ARCA’s Postgraduate program in International Art Crime, teaching the “Art Crime in War” component.
Ludo Block, a former Dutch police officer and police liaison to the Dutch National Police in Moscow, will discuss his article, “European Police Cooperation on Art Crime”:
The academic literature in the field of cross-border policing tends to concentrate exclusively on the high-level crimes—drug trafficking, terrorism, and human trafficking—that are so often the focus of transnational police cooperation in criminal investigations. There are, however, many other types of transnational crime, including the often neglected art crime, which may represent the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world, outranked only by drug and arms trafficking. Drawing on existing literature and interviews with practitioners, this study provides a comparative overview of the policing efforts on art crime in a number of European Union (EU) member states and examines the relevant policy initiatives of the Council of the EU, Europol, and the European Police College. It also addresses existing practices of and obstacles to police cooperation in the field of art crime in the EU. The study reveals that EU police cooperation in this field occurs among a relatively small group of specialists and that—particularly given the general lack of political and public attention—the personal dedication of these specialists is an indispensable driver in this cooperation.
Ludo Block focuses his research mostly on European police cooperation which is the subject of his PhD dissertation. His other interests are in intelligence, analysis, and law enforcement in the Russian Federation. He has lectured and written around the world concerning these issues, including his article “European Police Cooperation on Art Crime: A Comparative Overview” which will appear in the forthcoming edition of the Journal of Art Crime (Vol. 4).
Saskia Hufnage, a Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS) at Griffith University, Queensland, will present “Harmonising Police Cooperation in the Field of Art Crime in Australia and the European Union”:
Despite the fact that Australia and the European Union (EU) have different structures of governance, different histories, and different dimensions, both entities face surprisingly similar problems in relation to cross-border police cooperation. Australia is divided in nine different criminal jurisdictions, each policed by its own police force. As each police force is only competent on its own territory, with the exception of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), problems of border crossing, information exchange and joint investigations arise similar to those in the EU. This paper presents an overview of policing strategies in the field of art crime in Australia and compares existing problems in the EU to Australia. The necessity of legal harmonisation is overshadowed in this particular area by the importance of strong police-to-police cooperation, crucial for intelligence sharing – as it happens in the EU – and the lack of strong cooperation in the Australasian region. Possible avenues of advancing existing cooperation strategies in this particular field will be discussed.
Saskia Hufnagel was an Assistant Professor at the University of Canberra and a PhD student at the Australian National University in the fields of comparative law, criminal law, cross-border policing and sociolegal studies. She is a German lawyer and accredited specialist in criminal law. Recent publications include ‘“The fear of insignificance”: New perspectives on harmonizing police cooperation in Europe and Australia' (2010) 6(2) Journal of Contemporary European Research 165 and ‘German perspectives on the right to life and human dignity in the “War on Terror”’ (2008) Criminal Law Journal 101.