chapter  10
15 Pages

Immunity from Seizure for Works of Art on Loan: The Criminal Context

ByCraig Forrest

This chapter examines the manner in which a number of States in Australasia, Europe and North America have addressed this issue in their national legislation. A comparative consideration of the way in which a number of jurisdiction have addressed the criminal scope of immunity from seizure illustrates the very great difficulty in balancing the competing interest of fostering cultural exchange and giving effect to the criminal law and procedure of States. While there is no question that immunity from seizure should not in any way prevent the prosecution for criminal offences, the exact scope of the immunity from seizure will directly affect criminal prosecutions and the criminal investigation process. Yet the interests that the immunity from seizure legislation seeks to protect, is part of the very interest that drives international art crime: the universal value and spirit inherent in works of art.