Protecting Traditional Knowledge: An Analysis of the Pacific Regional Framework for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture
This article will primarily focus on the Pacific Regional Framework for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture (the Model Law), analysing each clause and examining how it has been implemented in Pacific countries so far. While it is a model law, there are many factors that must be considered by enacting countries, such as consulting and engaging with communities at the beginning of the process, the role of the state as a facilitator rather than the primary regulator and more generally, adopting a "bottom-up" approach. This article will also briefly examine the Melanesian Spearhead Group Framework Treaty on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture (the MSG Treaty). Although the MSG Treaty has not been ratified by any of the signatories, it nevertheless addresses some of the omissions seen in the Model Law. Recommendations are discussed at the end of the article, which should be considered if any country decides to adopt the Model Law or any legal instrument that protects traditional knowledge and expressions of culture.
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