Intangible Cultural Heritage from a Legal Perspective – A Study in the Light of the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

Dr. Nada Zuhair Said El – Fil
Associate Professor of Commercial Law – School of Law – University of Sharjah – UAE


The aim of this study is to draw the attention of legislators of all Arab countries to the need to pay attention to the establishment of legal rules to ensure the national legal protection of their intangible cultural heritage. The legislation, as the true owner of this heritage, is best able to determine its forms and methods of transmission and delivery to future generations, and the way of preserving each form and the strength and weakness of each and each of them are more vulnerable to pressure or threat, Guidelines Adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) / the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) at its ninth session, held in Geneva 2006, is “the principle of response to the protection of TCEs and folklore of the aspirations and aspirations of the communities concerned”; The legal protection established by this national legislation does not lead to the marginalization or freezing of intangible cultural heritage, because it is a renewed heritage that is part of the everyday life of peoples and changes as a result. Thirdly, Scientific and technological progress and modern methods for the use of literary and artistic productions, by identifying acts and actions that fall within the scope of such abuse or trafficking in the heritage without respect for the economic and cultural interests of the communities in which they have been established and the sanctions that limit such acts Fourthly, the Arab States should take the initiative to include their intangible cultural heritage in the representative list or the list of intangible cultural heritage that needs urgent maintenance in accordance with the criteria established by the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee, As a first step to protect it from all forms of infringement such as theft, mutilation and illegal use, and until the enactment of national legislation on legal protection. Fourthly: Each Arab State shall form a committee specialized in the protection of the intangible cultural heritage which shall undertake the process of documenting and archiving all such forms and to carry out all programs of education and public awareness of the importance of its cultural heritage and to inform it of the dangers to which its heritage and humanity may be exposed, and to enhance its capabilities in the conservation and preservation of intangible cultural heritage. Finally, the academic institutions and university professors in all countries to contribute to the process of documenting and recording the forms of this heritage, and to organize conferences, symposia and training courses aimed at better visibility of the intangible cultural heritage, raising awareness of its importance and promoting dialogue on respect for cultural diversity.
Intangible heritage, representative, indigenous peoples, protection of heritage, Traditional Knowledge, inventory.

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