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International Dispute Settlement in Cultural Heritage Law and in the Protection of Foreign Investment: Is Cross-Fertilization Possible?
Journal of International Dispute Settlement  (IF0.938),  Pub Date : 2017-05-02, DOI: 10.1093/jnlids/idx004
Catharine Titi

The relationship between international investment law and world cultural heritage is often explored from the prism of their professed mutual incompatibility: the former’s object is the protection of economic interests and the latter’s the preservation of world cultural heritage. The two often clash. Investment rights, endowed with robust enforcement mechanisms, typically prevail. However, a comparative reading of the two systems’ international dispute settlement mechanisms reveals that a more constructive approach to their study is also possible: cross-fertilization and the drawing of lessons from their respective functioning can improve the international resolution of disputes for both. The article considers the international legal framework of the two systems and the nature of disputes in international investment law and in international cultural heritage law. It then focuses on their respective dispute resolution mechanisms, their advantages and disadvantages, and canvasses the appropriateness of a broader use of extra-‘judicial’ or alternative dispute resolution means in investment law, and the desirability of access to dedicated international fora and stronger enforcement rules in international cultural heritage law.