30 September
Suzanne Derry, Patricia Adjei and Jo-Anne Driessens attend WIPO's Intergovernmental Committee in Geneva.

Arts Law attends international convention on Traditional Knowledge and Folklore

Arts Law continues to advocate for the rights of Indigenous people on not only a domestic platform, but also a global one. We recently attended the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s 44th Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) on cultural expressions (like Indigenous songs, performances and art) and traditional knowledge (like languages, and Indigenous knowledges of plants and medicines).

Arts Law staff members, Suzanne Derry and Jo-Anne Driessens attended the IGC as observers along with Patricia Adjei (Australia Council for the Arts) who also represented Arts Law.

Throughout the five day meeting, Arts Law were able to share key feedback with the global community about its experience working with Indigenous artists to help to protect Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP)and update the global IP community around the recent Productivity Commission draft report about the visual arts industry and the Fake Art campaign. During the WIPO assembly, Jo-Anne participated in the selection committee for the Voluntary fund selections. The voluntary fund was recently donated to by Germany to support the attendance of Indigenous representatives at the IGC in future years. It focuses on supporting representatives who are committed to their communities and have strong focus towards Traditional Knowledge & Traditional Cultural Expressions to the WIPO assembly discussions.

The next assembly will occur in December 2022 and another is scheduled for 2023. All interested Indigenous parties are encouraged to either apply for the next round of the voluntary fundss to ensure   more diverse Indigenous voices are advocating for the protection of traditional knowledges and traditional cultural expressions.. The opportunity to attend such a high level global discussion on such important matters for all Indigenous peoples was truly a rewarding and empowering experience.

Arts Law looks forward to continuing this work by further engaging with WIPO and IP Australia.

For more info about WIPO and the IGC: