Property Protection and Protection of Cultural Heritage
In contemporary international law, the tension between the public interest in safeguarding cultural heritage and private property rights — including investors' rights — is often hard to settle, as full realization of one of them may inescapably lead to sacrificing the other. Although this tension is resolved by domestic legislations through solutions that are sometimes quite heterogeneous, a considerable practice has evolved at the level of international investment arbitration, which allows some conclusions to be drawn concerning the existence of certain general principles of law regulating the interaction between the two values in question. In particular, certain restrictions to private property rights are legitimate for safeguarding cultural heritage, provided that they are applied in a proportional and non-discriminatory manner and investors are granted just compensation or financial aid and access to effective judicial remedies.
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