Alternative methods of dispute resolution are an important resource in matters of cultural heritage in addressing the return, restitution, and repatriation of cultural property. The purpose of this article is to analyze the situations in which such methods might be preferred to the classical judicial means and to examine the problems that might arise.
The article is in two parts. The first part describes the actors as well as the current methods used for the restitution and return of cultural property. The second part explores the types of property that lend themselves to alternative dispute resolution techniques and lists the—often original—substantive solutions that have been used in practice.
Alternative methods of dispute resolution enable consideration of nonlegal factors, which might be emotional considerations or a sense of “moral obligation,” and this can help the parties find a path to consensus.