Private International Law, Art and Cultural Heritage

Private International Law, Art and Cultural Heritage

Christa Roodt

In this timely book Christa Roodt demonstrates how the structure and method of private international law can be applied in its expanding relationship with cultural heritage law. In particular, she explores the use of private international law in the context of ownership claims and the illicit trafficking of cultural objects. She shows how, in decisions about classification and the public policy exception, and in the application and treatment of foreign public law, value-rationality and mutuality can defeat the dogmatic underpinnings of conflicts and jurisdiction rules that frustrate the achievement of global solidarity.

Chapter 3: Taking a full turn: Both inwards and outwards

Christa Roodt

Subjects: law - academic, cultural heritage and art law, private international law


Conflicts that arise as a result of a foreign element in a dispute become more frequent on account of the pressures of globalisation. These pressures give rise to conflicts between different levels of regulation, different structures of norm-production, and different cross-cultural backgrounds. Claims to art and cultural objects could engage different sources of normativity, e.g. universal norms and national law; different norm-producing structures, e.g. different venues that are available in cross-border conflicts; and actors in the national, international and federal context with different interests and identities. No wonder then that claims involving art and cultural objects present both ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ complexities. Normative conflicts may arise due to multiple sources of law, e.g. between different international conventions, codifications, transnational principles, customs and trade usages. Conflicts may be evident between substantive rules and rules pertaining to procedure; between various choice of law rules; between substantive rules found in treaties that support restitution and priority rules found in domestic law; between the priority rules of the forum and the priority rules of a third state; or between a conflicts rule and a scope rule that stipulates when the law of X applies to an agreement concerning Y.

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