“When an architect’s design premeditatedly aims to cause material damage – as part of a largescale policy of organized aggression – a war crime may have been committed.“
This article written by Eyal Weizman for Rem Koolhaas’ Content is not so new anymore (2003) but unfortunately nothing has changed since then…
In this short essay entitled The Evil Architects Do, Weizman establishes that “architecture and planning intersects with the strategies of contemporary conflicts in ways that the semantics of international law are still ill-equiped to describe.”
In fact, architecture has a fundamental role to play in the current warfare -which does not consist anymore in two symmetrical armies fighting in the middle of a field- and the international laws, that once again (see the previous articles) have been made supposedly to be respected by every nations, seem to be not precised enough to really describe the current ways it is now used -as construction or destruction- as a military weapon, especially in Gaza and the West Bank.
The law must therefore be re-written in a much more precised way and architects should face their responsibility in case of being the accomplices of what is being described as a war crime or a crime against humanity.
The following excerpts are what the International Laws stipulates about architecture:
The Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court
Articles referred to above in relation to the transformation of the built environment.
(For more information see http://www.bachelorsdegreeonline.com/blog/2012/intro-to-icc/) (thank you Jessica)
Crimes Against Humanity
“Deportation or forcible transfer of population” means forced displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present…
Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly;
The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory;
Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not military objectives;