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Enforcing International Cultural Heritage Law$
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Francesco Francioni and James Gordley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199680245

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680245.001.0001

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The Enforcement of Foreign Law

The Enforcement of Foreign Law

Reclaiming One Nation’s Cultural Heritage in Another Nation’s Courts

(p.110) 6 The Enforcement of Foreign Law
Enforcing International Cultural Heritage Law

James Gordley

Oxford University Press

Nations have enacted laws to protect their cultural heritage against export. However, when objects are exported in violation of those laws, a nation faces two major legal obstacles to seeking their return. One is the proposition that the export laws of one nation will not be enforced in the courts of another. The other is that a government cannot repatriate an object without proving that it owns it in the same way as a private owner, having a right to possess and use it as he chooses. This chapter argues that both of these propositions are bad law, and that courts should disregard them.

Keywords:   civil suits, cultural objects, export control laws, international law, cultural property, property rights

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