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2024 Gonzaga Law Human Rights Conference | Florence, Italy

James French took the stage at the 2024 Gonzaga Law Human Rights Conference in Florence, Italy on May 23 – 25. The annual event was hosted by Jacob Rooksby, Dean of the Gonzaga University School of Law and Jason Houston, Dean of Gonzaga in Florence.

French was well received in Florence, where he echoed the theme of his recent presentation at the 2024 SXSW Conference in Austin, TX. French explored the nature and role of power dynamics, highlighting the groundbreaking implementation of Structural Parity at a Founder site—an initiative he led and a first for a U.S. museum. He explained that the power and impact of an institution are directly proportional to the representation of its stakeholders. In other words, power is not a finite resource; it is a product of stakeholder input.

The conference focused on cultural heritage in the context of conflict. Despite domestic and international legal instruments, frameworks, and treaties—such as the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict—the resolution of violations often remains elusive. Structural Parity offers the legitimacy needed for effective repatriation, restitution, and repair.

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