New Court at The Hague Designated for Art Disputes

Specialist lawyers will decide cases brought before the Court of Arbitration for Art.

the hague
A new court at the Hague will deal exclusively with art disputes. (Getty Images)
Getty Images

A new tribunal at The Hague—known for hosting courts that address international disputes, war crimes, and crime against humanity—will focus exclusively on art disputes. The Court of Arbitration for Art (CAA) was founded by New York-based art lawyer William Charron, with support from the Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI) and the nonprofit group Authentication in Art, reports Smithsonian Magazine. The new tribunal, which will start on June 7, will address a wide range of disputes relating to authenticity, contracts and copyright claims, in addition to other sources of contention. Charron hopes that the CAA will help mitigate several problems that appear when art disputes play out in courts with judges and juries who do not have formal experience or expertise in the matter. Cases dealing with art can be time-consuming and expensive, because judges need to familiarize themselves with all the intricacies of the issue, including scientific testing of artworks, and the art market is usually reluctant to accept rulings that are made by those inexperienced in the field.

“The idea is to give the most comfort possible to the market that authenticity decisions are based on truly neutral expert analysis,” Luke Nikas, who helped develop the CAA with Charron and was selected as one of artnet News’ most powerful art lawyers in 2016, said in the statement, according to Smithsonian. 

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