Defining a Legal Standard and the Participation of Cultural Heritage Holders

Cléa Hance

My project focuses on the completion of a scientific publication questioning the legal issues surrounding the protection of cultural practices specific to local communities that compose the cultural diversity of a country (traditional folk dances and music, storytelling, ways of life, spiritual beliefs, etc). Many nation States recognize today the importance of promoting such cultural diversity through cultural policies, but they remain reluctant to adopt an explicit right of community members to participate in the protection of their cultural tradition, in fear of communitarianism. Nevertheless, such a right is crucial to ensure the effective protection of these practices, notably to fight against the very State actions that can limit them. Based on a comparative analysis of the French and American legal system, I argue that, despite such reluctance, we can identify a binding right if we consider that this participation has become a social practice amounting to a legal standard. The article will firstly offer an analysis of this legal notion that remains understudied, and, secondly, develop its interest in the preservation of cultural diversity. Being part of the Stanford Law School community will enable me to ascertain my understanding of the American legal culture.


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