The Effects of State Succession on Cultural Property: Ownership, control, protection
Title: The Effects of State Succession on Cultural Property: Ownership, control, protection
Author: JAKUBOWSKI, Andrzej
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
The purpose of this study was to investigate the legal effects of state succession on cultural property. This is not a new topic of international law. Indeed, the attempts to provide a legal framework for the cultural aspects of state succession have been undertaken in international practice and legal scholarship since at least the mid-nineteenth century. Initially, these were strictly bound to the origin of the European nation-state, determining its territorial boundaries accordingly to ethnic and cultural divisions. However, the concept of cultural property in international law has evolved towards a broader, more human-oriented idea of cultural heritage. Such a conceptual shift has occurred in the last fifty years, marked by the gradual recognition of the fundamental role performed by cultural manifestations in the preservation of human dignity and the continuous development of all mankind. This study discusses to what extent the practice and the theory of state succession reflect this evolution. It attempts to reconstruct the principles regulating interstate arrangements with regard to such matters, contextualizing them in a broad historical and geographical framework. Particular attention has been paid to the question of state succession to international cultural heritage obligations. This piece of work explores their content, sources and status in state succession. It explains that nowadays the preservation and enjoyment of cultural heritage do not constitute the exclusive concern of state sovereignty. On the contrary, such values are of general interest to the international community as a whole. Therefore, the study advocates a new doctrinal approach, based both on the principles of international cultural heritage law and human rights law. This implies the limitation of the contractual freedom of states in the matter of cultural agreements, in favour of the continuity of international cultural heritage obligations in cases of state succession. Finally, the study proposes a list of guiding principles relating to the succession of states in respect of tangible cultural heritage, which may contribute to the further development of international practice.
Subject: Cultural property; Protection; State succession
Defence date: 13 June 2011; Prof. Francesco Francioni, European University Institute (Supervisor), Prof. Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, European University Institute, Prof. Kurt Siehr, Max-Planck-Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Prof. Wladyslaw Czaplinski, Polish Academy of Sciences
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