Switzerland, Geneva

International Cultural Heritage Law

when 27 June 2016 - 8 July 2016
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee CHF 1800

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.

Course leader

The course will be taught by brilliant young scholars, renowned professors from various prestigious universities, as well as professionals from governmental agencies and international organizations. The University of Geneva staff comprises the team of the

Target group

The course welcomes applications from upper-year undergraduates, master’s degree students and PhD candidates in law and all other faculties, including art history, archaeology and anthropology. Practitioners, non-specialists and art enthusiasts may also apply.

Credits info

Evaluation will be based on attendance, class participation and presentations on the last day of the course.

Each summer school will indicate its equivalence in ECTS credits in its description. Participants will be provided with a Certificate of Completion of the course if they satisfy attendance and evaluation requirements. It is the participant’s responsibility to verify the validity of the course and validate it at their home university prior to participating in the course.

Fee info

CHF 1800: Application deadline: May 1, 2016

Tuition Fees: 1'800 CHF

Early bird fees (Until March 1, 2016): 1'500 CHF

Tuition fees do not include housing or accommodation.


A limited number of excellence scholarships are available.