International Cultural Heritage Law

Course: International Cultural Heritage Law.

27 June – 8 July 2016
University of Geneva, Switzerland

Application deadlines – Early Bird : 01 March 2016
Final: 01 May 2016

Cost: 1500 CF (early); 1800 CF (regular)

The summer school aims to develop the students’ awareness and general understanding of the main substantive themes of international cultural heritage law, namely: the trade in cultural objects; the restitution of stolen or looted artworks; the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict; the protection of the built heritage from natural and human-induced disasters; the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage and of the diversity of cultural expressions.

The lecturers will examine the legal instruments adopted by UNESCO, such as the ‘Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict’, the ‘Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property’ and the ‘Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage’.

In order to offer an up-to-date glance at international cultural heritage law, the lecturers will also describe its complex relationship with other fields of law – namely general international law, human rights law, and intellectual property law – and with the issue of dispute settlement. Moreover, the lecturers will provide an overview of the different ideological positions of the relevant stakeholders and of the risks and liabilities in the art trade.

Finally, the summer school will bring out the challenges to cultural heritage that emanate from new threats. To name but a few: reduced protection of sites and monuments due to lack of public money and political support; natural catastrophes; increasing exploitation of cultural resources by organized criminal organizations; art forgeries; and damage to cultural sites caused by human activities.

The summer course includes lectures at the University of Geneva and at WIPO, as well as two field trips to two UNESCO World Heritage sites, namely Berne and Lavaux.

Please note: Changes to the draft program may be made at any time prior to the start of the course.


Full details, including evaluation methods, tuition fees, staff, target audience and schedule, are available on the course website, where you can apply online.