CFP: Combating the Illicit Trade in Cultural Objects – Interdisciplinary Challenges and New Perspectives of EU Law and Policy (University of Opole, 13 May 2022)

The Institute of Law Studies of the University of Opole, the Institute of Art History of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU Munich), and the International Society for Research on Art and Cultural Heritage Law (ISCHAL), in cooperation with the Editorial Board of the biannual “Santander Art and Culture Law Review” (SAACLR), are pleased to announce this call for abstracts for an international symposium entitled “Combating the Illicit Trade in Cultural Objects: Interdisciplinary Challenges and New Perspectives of EU Law and Policy”, to be held on 13 May 2022 in Opole, Poland.

Deadline: 15 Mar 2022

The prohibition and prevention of trafficking in cultural objects has become a priority issue in the current cultural agenda of the EU. Indeed, in recent years, the Union has taken a number of measures to counter the illicit trade in such goods, at both the legislative and political levels. The system of protection of the cultural heritage of EU Member States against illegal export, which has been in place for almost thirty years, was supplemented in 2019 with provisions on the entry of cultural objects from illegal sources into the EU (Regulation (EU) 2019/880 on the introduction and the import of cultural goods). Moreover, the EU adopted robust legislation to fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, thus also contributing to the current international efforts to curb the flow of cultural objects originating from conflict-ridden territories. Several developments have also occurred at the policy level. Significantly, the need for reinforced EU action with respect to trafficking in cultural goods was identified in EU Security Union Strategy (2020) and the EU Strategy to Fight Organised Crime for 2021-2025 (adopted in 2021). This Strategy provides for the adoption of an Action Plan on tackling the illicit trade in cultural goods; to be adopted in Spring 2022. Many of the current efforts are based on close cooperation with other international organizations and agencies, particularly with UNESCO, UNIDROIT and the Council of Europe.

Considering the most recent developments in the EU legislation and practice, this call invites contributions that would address the new perspectives and major challenges faced by the reinforced EU action on trafficking in cultural goods. Scholars, emerging young scholars, as well as practitioners are all encouraged to contribute. Our interest is first of all in papers that critically analyse the operation of the existing EU law and policy instruments, and in those which offer new insights de lege ferenda. We are also interested in contributions which provide a comparative analysis of the various national legislative measures already in operation at the domestic level in EU Member States aimed at curbing the trafficking in cultural goods. Studies based on empirical research are particularly welcomed. Additionally, we invite submissions that investigate the interlinkages between EU law and other international and regional law instruments.

Last but not least, we encourage papers that address and explore the intersections of law with other disciplines (e.g. security studies, criminology, arts, literature, cultural and heritage studies).

This symposium is aimed at generating an open discussion on the above-mentioned topics. Ideally, the long-term result of this meeting would be a publication of selected papers in SAACLR.

The symposium will be held in English at the University of Opole. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic it will be organized in a hybrid format.

While the participation in the symposium is free charge, the organizers do not cover travel and accommodation costs. However, a limited number of travel grants might be available to junior researchers from Bavaria and from Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (to be confirmed). If you wish to apply for such a grant, please indicate this in your submission.
Application Process

Please submit an abstract in .Doc or PDF format (in English or French) of no more than 300 words by 15 March 2022, 6 pm CET, at:

The following information must be provided with each abstract: 
●    The author’s name and affiliation; 
●    The author’s brief bio note (up to 100 words);
●    The author’s contact details, including email address and phone number. Only one abstract per author will be considered. Multi-authored abstracts are welcome.

Applicants will be informed of the selection committee’s decision no later than on 25 March 2022.

Full papers (in English) between 8,000-10,000 words (including footnotes) should be submitted by 15 July 2022.