This area of law considers a developing jurisprudence that involves international treaties, laws, ethics, and policy considerations relating to the art market and cultural heritage. This module aims to define art and cultural heritage/cultural property; to identify the need for national and international regulation of the art trade (theft, illegal export, trafficking) both in time of peace and in time of war as well as the issue of restitution of wrongfully displaced objects. It will also explore areas of the art trade that need regulation such as consumer protection (fakes and forgeries); the role of experts (opinion and liability), artists (his rights, his freedom and his life), dealers (auction houses and private dealers), and museums (role and collection management) in the trade. Finally, the module addresses the essential question of the need to change the law to accommodate the specific needs of protection of cultural heritage and it aims to give coherence to a complex body of rules at the intersection of civil law, property law, criminal law, public law, private international law and public international law.
Contact hours: 39
Private study hours: 261
Total study hours: 300
Method of assessment
Main assessment methods
The module will be assessed by coursework (60%) and examination (40%):
Coursework - Case Study (1,500 words) - 15%
coursework - Case note (1,500 words) - 15%
Coursework - Essay or Problem Question (2000 words) - 30%
Examination - 2 hours - 40%
Blake J, International cultural heritage law (Cultural Heritage Law and Policy, Oxford, Oxford University Press (2015)
Forrest C., International Law and the Protection of Cultural Heritage (2010), Routledge
Francioni F. (ed), Enforcing International Cultural Heritage Law (2013), Oxford, OUP
Gillman D., The Idea of Cultural Heritage (2010), Cambridge, CUP
Merryman J.(ed), Imperialism, Art and Restitution (2006), Cambridge, CUP
Vrdoljak A., International Law, Museums and The Return Of Cultural Objects (2006), Cambridge, CUP
Art, Antiquity and Law
International Journal of Cultural Policy
International Journal of Cultural Property
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
The intended subject specific learning outcomes are as follows. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1.Analyse key aspects of the historical and social regulation of art and cultural heritage within society;
2.Critically explore the aspects of the legal and illegal trade in art and cultural objects that generate the need for regulation at a national and international level;
3.Critically explore the need to return, restitute or repatriate cultural objects that were illegally acquired in time of colonisation and/or war
4.Critically discuss the legal issues relating to the regulation of cultural heritage at a national and international level;
5.Demonstrate their conceptual understanding of legal concepts and procedures in relation to the regulation of the art market and cultural heritage in order to devise and sustain an independent argument;
6.Appreciate the scope of EU and International law and policy and their effects on UK law.
The intended generic learning outcomes are as follows. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1.Effectively locate primary and secondary legislation at national and international level and apply it to intricate policy and legal issues;
2.Critically evaluate an area of law both doctrinally and in terms of its historical and social consequences;
3.Effectively apply knowledge to analyse complex issues;
4.Recognise potential alternative solutions to particular issues and make a reasoned choice between them;
5.Formulate and sustain a complex argument, supporting it with appropriate evidence.
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Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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