Rejecting Renvoi for Movable Cultural Property: The Islamic Republic of Iran v. Denyse Berend
10 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2007
In Iran v. Berend, the High Court in London had occasion to revisit one of the most enduring problems of private international law and cultural property. Effective regulation of the illicit market in cultural property is extremely difficult, because many measures aimed at stemming the illicit trade actually contribute to the black market. Courts in both England and the United States have shown that they are prepared to use criminal laws to convict persons involved in the illegal trade in antiquities exported in violation of foreign patrimony laws. As a result, much cultural property policy debate in recent years has focused on the extent to which the criminal law can impact the illicit trade. The extent to which national ownership declarations can be used in civil disputes remains less clear.
Keywords: cultural property, Iran, Denyse Berend, cultural heritage, renvoi, choice of law, private international law, case note
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