- Customary international law — Extraterritorial application of treaties — General principles of international law
This chapter assesses whether contemporary international law prescribes obligations in the field of cultural heritage protection, which are binding upon States and other relevant international actors independently of or even against their consent. This question is relevant for a number of reasons. First, in spite of the widespread acceptance of treaty obligations in the various fields of cultural heritage protection, many States remain outside of the treaty regimes. Second, even for the States bound by treaties in force, their obligations have no retroactive effect, therefore leaving situations or disputes arising before the entry into force of relevant treaties outside their scope of application. Third, recognition of the character of custom or general principles to certain norms of international law may guarantee a superior ranking in the domestic law hierarchy of sources of the law.
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