Book launch | 'Legalized Identities: Cultural Heritage Law and the Shaping of Transitional Justice' by Lucas Lixinski

UNSW Law & Justice and the Australian Human Rights Institute invite you to the launch of Professor Lucas Lixinski’s new book, Legalized Identities: Cultural Heritage Law and the Shaping of Transitional Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2021). 

Join the book's author as well as a panel of discussants to learn more about this important publication.

Cultural heritage is a feature of transitioning societies, from museums commemorating the end of a dictatorship to adding places like the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp to the World Heritage List. These processes are governed by specific laws, and yet transitional justice discourses tend to ignore law's role, assuming that memory in transition emerges organically. This book debunks this assumption, showing how cultural heritage law is integral to what memory and cultural identity is possible in transition.

Lixinski attempts to reengage with the original promise of transitional justice: to pragmatically advance societies towards a future where atrocities will no longer happen. The promise in the UNESCO Constitution of lasting peace through cultural understanding is possible through focusing on the intersection of cultural heritage law and transitional justice, as Lixinski shows in this ground-breaking book.


  • Professor Ana Filipa Vrdoljak is the UNESCO Chair in International Law and Cultural Heritage at the University of Technology Sydney.
  • Dr Harry Hobbs is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney.
  • Dr Rosemary Grey is a lecturer at Sydney Law School, and Co-Director of the Sydney Centre for International Law. She is also an active member of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre in the University of Sydney.

Attendees wishing to engage with some reviews of the book can view a symposium published on International Law Agendas (2021), and another in the Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies (2022).

Author bio:

Dr Lucas Lixinski is Professor at the Faculty of Law & Justice, UNSW Sydney, and an Associate of the Australian Human Rights Institute. He is also Vice President (Conference) of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, and Rapporteur of the International Law Association’s Committee on Participation in Global Cultural Heritage Governance. Legalized Identities is his third monograph.