Crossed destinies:international economic courts and the protection of cultural heritage

Vadi, Valentina (2015) Crossed destinies:international economic courts and the protection of cultural heritage. Journal of International Economic Law, 18 (1). pp. 51-77. ISSN 1369-3034

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Economic globalization and international economic governance have spurred a more intense dialogue and interaction among nations—potentially promoting cultural diversity and providing the funds to recover and preserve cultural heritage. However, these phenomena can also jeopardize cultural heritage. Foreign direct investments in the extraction of natural resources have the ultimate capacity to change cultural landscapes and erase memory; trade in cultural goods can induce cultural homogenization. In parallel, legally binding and highly effective regimes demand states to promote and facilitate foreign direct investment and free trade. This article investigates the distinct interplay between the promotion of economic integration and the protection of cultural heritage before two separate international dispute resolution systems: i.e. investment treaty arbitral tribunals and the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Mechanism. It addresses the question as to whether international economic ‘courts’ pay adequate attention to the need of protecting cultural heritage, contributing to the coalescence of consistent narratives and emerging general principles of law. Has a cultural administrative law emerged requiring the protection of cultural heritage and an adequate balance between the same and the promotion of economic interests in international law? Are there specific contributions arising from each of the two dispute settlement mechanisms?

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Journal Article
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Journal of International Economic Law
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This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of International Economic Law following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Valentina Vadi; Crossed Destinies: International Economic Courts and the Protection of Cultural Heritage. J Int Economic Law 2015; 18 (1): 51-77. doi: 10.1093/jiel/jgv010 is available online at:
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19 Jan 2016 13:36
Last Modified:
01 Oct 2023 00:39