Kent Law School

Critical perspectives research led teaching




Sophie has been a lecturer at the University of Kent (UK) since 2002. She did a joint-PhD (Nancy, France and Kent University) on a comparative study of auction law which was awarded a prize by the University of Nancy and published in 2006.

Research Areas: European and Comparative Law, Cultural Heritage Law


Sophie's research lies at the intersection of law and heritage studies, with a particular interest in the regulation of the art market and cultural heritage law. Her research on cultural heritage law covers both the regulation and protection of cultural objects and the built heritage by national laws (French, English and the USA) and international conventions. Her earlier work focused on the regulation of cultural objects and the restitution of stolen and/or illegally exported cultural objects, in particular in the case of historic wrong (human remains, Nazi era looted objects). She is currently working on a theoretical approach of cultural heritage law as an emerging field of study. Her research aims to analyse the fragmentation of cultural heritage law between the different types of heritage that are protected in order to critically explore the reasons why there are distinctive rules for the protection and regulation of movable property, immovable property, tangible heritage and intangible heritage.

Major research project

Sophie's research interest aims at assessing the efficiency of existing export restrictions of works of art and restitution laws at an international, European and national level and their core relationships with private law (property, criminal, conflict of laws) and public international law in order to propose a coherent art law framework. She is the principal investigator of the AHRC network on the protection of Cultural World Heritage Sites.

Professional Societies

SECOLA Society of European Contract Law, Institute of Art and Law

Société internationale pour la recherche sur le droit du patrimoine culturel


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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Vigneron, S. (2017). The return of illicitly exported cultural objects: the implementation of the 2014/60 Directive in France. Santander Art and culture law review [Online] 3:35-56. Available at:
Vigneron, S. (2017). The Holy Thorn Reliquary and Cultural Heritage. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly [Online] 68. Available at:
Pickard, R. and Vigneron, S. (2016). Editorial. Historic Environment: Policy and practice [Online] 7:113-114. Available at:
Vigneron, S. (2016). From local to World Heritage: a comparative analysis. Historic Environment: Policy and practice [Online] 7:115-132. Available at:
Vigneron, S. (2015). Feminist judgment ou juger en féministe. Cahier de la justice:235-247.
Vigneron, S. and Wong, S. (2012). An assessment of the DCFR on dependant personal securities. Journal of Business Law 1:1-15.
Vigneron, S. (2008). The Authenticity of Art: an Insight into French Law. Art Antiquity and Law 13:297-312.
Book section
Vigneron, S. (2016). Les codes de déontologie en Angleterre : entre droit souple et droit dur. in: Goffaux-Callebaut, G. ed. Ethique et patrimoine culturel : regards croisés. L'Harmattan.
Vigneron, S. (2015). La protection au Royaume Uni. in: Un siècle de protection des Monuments historiques. L'Harmattan éditions.
Vigneron, S. (2015). Crise et patrimoine en Angleterre. in: Le Roux, M. ed. Crise et patrimoine monumental. L'Harmattan.
Vigneron, S. (2014). Protecting Cultural Objects: Enforcing the Illicit Export of Foreign Cultural Objects. in: Vadi, V. and Schneider, H. eds. Art, Cultural Heritage and the Market: Ethical and Legal Issues. Springer.
Vigneron, S. (2012). Vente aux enchères publiques volontaire de meubles. in: Guinchard, S. ed. Répertoire de procédure civile. Dalloz.
Vigneron, S. (2012). Commissaire-priseur Judiciare. in: Guinchard, S. ed. Repertoire de Procedure Civile. Dalloz.
Vigneron, S. and Wong, S. (2011). Personal Security. in: Antoniolli, L. and Fiorentini, F. eds. A Factual Assessment of the Draft Common Frame of Reference. Munich: Sellier, pp. 179-206.
Vigneron, S. (2010). Encheres. in: Guinchard, S. ed. Repertoire de procedure civile. Dalloz, pp. 211-215.
Vigneron, S., Barthez, A. and Family, R. (2010). France. in: Colombi Ciacchi, A. and Weatherill, S. eds. Regulating Unfair Banking Practices in Europe: The Case of Personal Suretyships. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Vigneron, S. (2009). Vente aux encheres publiques volontaire de meubles. in: Guinchard, S. ed. Repertoire de procedure civile. Dalloz.
Vigneron, S. (2009). Vente volontaire aux encheres publiques. in: Guinchard, S. ed. Repertoire de procedure civil. Dalloz. Available at:
Vigneron, S. (2008). Trafic illicite et restitution des biens culturels. in: Cornu, M. and Fromageau, J. eds. Protection de la propriété culturelle et circulation des biens culturels. Étude de droit comparé Europe/Asie. Mission de Recherche Droit & Justice. Available at:
Vigneron, S. (2008). Le rejet de la bonne foi en droit anglais. in: Robin-Olivier, S. and Fasquelle, D. eds. Les échanges entre les droits, l'experience communautaire. Bruxelles: Bruylant, pp. 307-331.
Vigneron, S. (2008). Museums and Galleries. in: Conaghan, J. and Cane, P. eds. The New Oxford Companion to Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available at:
Visual media
Vigneron, S. (2017). Whose Legacy? Museums and National Heritage Debates. [video].
Vigneron, S. (2017). What is cultural heritage law?. [video]. YouTube. Available at:
Vigneron, S. (2017). Patrimony. [encyclopedia].
Vigneron, S. (2012). Dictionnaire comparé du droit du patrimoine culturel Cornu, M., Fromageau, J. and Wallaert, C. eds. [dictionary].
Internet publication
Vigneron, S. (2009). Manumed - Manuscripts and Restitution in Strengthening the institutional and legislative frameworks: seminar on "Prevention and fight against illicit traffic of cultural properties" proceedings [Online]. Available at:
Vigneron, S. (2009). Manuscripts and restitution [Online]. Available at:
Vigneron, S. (2016). International Cultural Heritage Law (Cultural Heritage Law and Policy). International Journal of Heritage Studies [Online] 23:288-289. Available at:
Vigneron, S. (2018). Fiscalité et protection du patrimoine culturel mobilier en Angleterre. in: Entre nature et culture. Liber amicorum en l'honneur de Jérôme Fromageau. ed. Mare et Martin Paris.
Vigneron, S. (2017). Codes of Conduct and the Regulation of the Art Trade in England: Between Hard and Soft Law. in: Studies in Art Law. Schulthess.
Showing 30 of 38 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]
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Teaching and Supervision



LW 583 Art Law
LW 539 Droit Civil


LW 925 Cultural Heritage Law

Past Teaching

Droit constitutionnel et administratif (LW567)
Obligations II (LW512)



Comparative law, Art law, Cultural Heritage Law.

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Other Academic Activities


Sophie co-organises (with Amanda Perry-Kessaris and Lisa Dickson) the KLS Legal Treasure Tours

She lectures at postgraduate level at the Institut D'Etudes Superieures Artistiques (Paris) and the Ecole du Louvre (Paris)

Sophie has been invited as an observer to the meetings of States parties to the 19th UNESCO convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property.

Whose Legacy? Museums and National Heritage Debates


During Spring and Summer 2008, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Fordham in New York


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Last Updated: 28/07/2017