Glossary beginning with N

The Glossary provides basic legal and technical definitions for the most common terms related to the fight against illicit traffic in cultural goods.


Natural heritage

Any natural thing, phenomenon or concept, considered to be of scientific significance or to be a spiritual manifestation.

Source: ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums


The term "nighthawk" is generally used to refer to an individual who knowingly uses a metal detector in illegal activity, particularly involving theft from a protected archaeological site and/or from private land. It is not a legally recognised term but rather is a convenient shorthand which has been used to describe metal-detector users acting illegally.

Source: Trafficking Culture


The term non-profit caracterises a legally established body – corporate or unincorporated – whose income (including any surplus or profit) is used solely for the benefit of that body and its operations. The term "not-for-profit" has the same meaning.

Source: ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums


Principle whereby a new legal norm or decision cannot have effects on situations which were in compliance with the application of a prior legal norm.

Both nullum crimen sine lege (nothing is a crime without law against it) and nulla poena sine lege (no punishment may be imposed for crime without law authorizing it) have become rules of customary international law which bind both states and international organizations. They forbid the retroactive creation of crimes and retroactive creation or increase of criminal punishments – though the current.

Source: Social Science Research Network / International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods

Back to top