The Faro Convention, which was passed by the Council of Europe in October 2005, considers the participation in cultural heritage research to be a civil right. Article 4a clearly states that everyone has the right to contribute to the enrichment of cultural heritage. Furthermore, the signatories of the convention commit to establish a legal framework which makes participation possible. In contrast to Germany Austria has already ratified the Faro Convention. However, the current Austrian heritage law is not designed for public participation. Therefore, it seems sensible to review the current German heritage laws and their interpretation in regards to the Faro Convention. This paper looks at two examples to examine the rights and responsibilities of the public and the archaeologists as well as the restrictions imposed by the laws to see whether they are compatible with the Faro Convention or whether they go beyond the ‚necessary restrictions‘ permitted by its Article 4c. Our analysis demonstrates that the compatibility of different germanophone heritage laws with the Faro Convention is variable. While some allow for relatively wide public participation, others erect barriers which are hardly compatible with the provisions of the Faro Convention.