Research and Advisory Activity

ADR and Art-Law

In June 2010, the Geneva Art-Law Centre has launched a research funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF):

« Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in Art-Law »

The potential of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods for the settlement of art-related disputes has continuously been gaining international consideration. In fact, ADR mechanisms are often more appropriate than traditional court litigation as they enable the parties to take into account “non-judicial” elements and to aim for a mutually satisfactory agreement, especially for claims related to the restitution of a cultural object.

Research Goals

The research endeavors to highlight the benefits of ADR in the art-law sector and to examine the reasons and decisive criteria that have led the parties to opt for an « out-of-court settlement ». Further, it aims to analyze the practical, ethical and legal consequences they may have compared to court litigation.

Research Outputs

  • The creation of ArThemis, a fully searchable database containing case notes about disputes over cultural property. The case notes focus on the settlement of disputes through alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR) but also examine judicial decisions. The case notes are accompanied by pertinent documents, including judgments, published agreements, pictures, etc. To access ArThemis follow: .

  • The publication of a reference book and/or articles.
  • The organization of workshops and conferences, such as the workshop and conference organized on November 10 and 11, 2011.

Publications in relation to the research

  • Chechi, Alessandro, “Plurality and Coordination of Dispute Settlement Methods in the Field of Cultural Heritage”, in Francioni F. and Gordley J. (eds.), Enforcing International Cultural Property Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013, p. 177 ff.
  • Chechi, Alessandro, “The Role of Domestic Courts in Resolving Restitution Cases: Unveiling Judicial Strategies for Culture-Sensitive Settlements”, in Renold Marc-André, Chechi Alessandro et Bandle Anne Laure (éds), Resolving Disputes in Cultural Property / La résolution des litiges en matière de biens culturels, Etudes en droit de l’art vol. 23, Genève: Schulthess, 2012, p. 147 ff.
  • Chechi, Alessandro, “Multi-Level Cooperation to Safeguard the Human Dimension of Cultural Heritage and to Secure the Return of Wrongfully Removed Cultural Objects”, in Lenzerini F. et Borelli S. (éds.), Cultural Heritage, Cultural Rights, Cultural Diversity. New Developments in International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden/Boston, 2012, p. 347 ff.
  • Chechi, Alessandro, “Evaluating the Establishment of an International Cultural Heritage Court”, in Art Antiquity and Law, April 2013, p. 31 ff.
  • Renold, Marc-André, "Les litiges en matière de restitution de biens culturels - Exemples récents de résolutions alternatives", in Paul-André Jaccard and Sébastien Guex (eds.), Le marché de l'art en Suisse - Du XIXe siècle à nos jours, Conference proceedings of the interdisciplinary conference held on November 6 and 7, 2009, Volume 7, Zurich/Lausanne: Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK ISEA), 2011, pp. 341 - 352.
  • Bandle Anne Laure and Theurich Sarah, « Alternative Dispute Resolution and Art-Law – A New Research Project of the Geneva Art-Law Centre », in: Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology, Vol. 6, No. 1 (2011), pp. 28 - 41.
  • Bandle Anne Laure, intervention at the “5th Legal, Security and Privacy Issues Conference (LSPI), 4th International Law and Trade Conference (ILTC) and 1st International Private Law Conference (IPLC)” in Barcelona, Spain, 2-5 November 2010, regarding an article entitled “Alternative Dispute Resolution and Art-Law – A New Research Project of the Geneva Art-Law Centre” (cit. above),
  • Cornu, Marie and Renold, Marc-André, New Developments in the Restitution of Cultural Property: Alternative Means of Dispute Settlement, International Journal of Cultural Property, Cambridge University Press, Vol. 17, Issue 1, pp. 1-31.
  • Renold Marc-André, "Le droit de l'art et des biens culturels en Suisse : questions choisies", Revue de droit suisse (RDS), vol. 129 (2010) II, cahier 1, p. 137 et ss.
  • Sarah Theurich, Alternative Dispute Resolution in Art and Cultural Heritage - Explored in the Context of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Work, in Kerstin Odendahl, Peter Johannes Weber (Eds.), Kulturgüterschutz - Kunstrecht - Kulturrecht, Festschrift für Kurt Siehr zum 75. Geburtstag aus dem Kreise des Doktoranden - und Habilitandenseminars „Kunst und Recht“, Schriften zum Kunst- und Kulturrecht, Nomos Verlag, Baden-Baden, 2010, Volume 8, p. 569.
  • Sarah Theurich, Recent Developments Around Alternative Dispute Resolution in Art and Cultural Heritage, in IBA Art, Cultural Institutions and Heritage Law Committee’s e-bulletin, December 2010,
  • Sarah Theurich, Update on Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Art and Cultural Heritage Sector, in IBA Art, Cultural Institutions and Heritage Law Committee’s e-bulletin, September 2009,
  • Sarah Theurich, Art and Cultural Heritage Dispute Resolution, WIPO Magazine, July 2009, Issue 4, p. 17,

Research team