Dr Donna Yates of the Glasgow "Trafficking Culture" project complains "Patterson's acquittal reminds me of other times Spain washed its hands of antiquities cases". But is it really a case of that? Surely, the criminologist recognizes that the law can only do what the law says it can do. This is surely what the judges and courts are for. This is what the ACCG diehards are all aching for over in the US, the US gubn'mint sticking to the letter of inadequate laws.
Way back in the days when this Glasgow project was set up, it was being billed as the best thing since sliced bread, and we were led to believe that one of its tasks was going to be to:
develop new approaches to regulate the international trade of cultural goods and help policymakers better define laws to fight criminal activitiesWell, more than quarter of the way through the project, we've got as far as "they washed their hands". I suppose that's a start. If we remove washbasins from EU courtrooms will the problem be dealt with? I suggest Glasgow might like to have a look (for example) at places like Poland where, well before they were set up, some of us have been hands-on struggling with this very same problem with the way national laws are set up and their disfunction when dealing with transborder offences. We were rather hoping a EU funded scheme might help come up with answers to this problem. Meanwhile it still remains far from clear what exactly they are doing.
'Heritage Crime: Glasgow team gets £1m grant to study illegal trade in antiquities' Monday, 13 February 2012
'Antiquitist Anti-Academism', Tuesday, 14 February 2012
'Glasgow Illicit Antiquities Research: Dealers' Lobbyists Sense Trouble Ahead', Tuesday, 5 June 2012