Table of Contents

International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage

International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage

Legal and Policy Issues

Edited by Christoph Beat Graber, Karolina Kuprecht and Jessica Christine Lai

The book is unique in taking a multi-faceted approach to cultural heritage, incorporating discussion on tangible and intangible, moveable and immoveable elements of indigenous peoples’ culture. From the perspectives of several international legal fields, including trade law, intellectual property, cultural property, cultural heritage law and human rights, the book explores how indigenous peoples could be empowered to participate more actively in the trade of their cultural heritage without being compelled to renounce important traditional values. The national and local legal realities in four jurisdictions (New Zealand, Australia, United States and Canada) lay the scene for a wide-ranging analysis of various possibilities and proposals on how this might be achieved.

Chapter 7: International trade in indigenous cultural heritage: an IP practitioners’ perspective

Martin Girsberger and Benny Müller

Subjects: law - academic, cultural heritage and art law, intellectual property law


Indigenous cultural heritage (ICH) – which includes moveable and immoveable cultural property, traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) – has been an important topic at the international level for a number of years. ICH and its sub-elements have been discussed in different international fora, each with its own focus and addressing different aspects of ICH. These fora include the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and various human rights bodies. Participating in these discussions are stakeholders with greatly diverging views and interests, namely developed and developing countries, indigenous peoples, scientists, artists, private industry, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the public at large.

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