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Law Council of Australia


Enhance and Enable – Indigenous Knowledge Consultations 2021

The submission to IP Australia in response to its Enhance and Enable – Indigenous Knowledge Consultations 2021 (the consultation), and, specifically, to the proposals and questions set out in its Indigenous Knowledge Consultation Paper published in February 2021 (the consultation paper)1was prepared by the Law Council of Australia.

The Law Council strongly supports IP Australia’s intention to contribute to the development of an intellectual property (IP) system that aims to help manage, support and protect Indigenous Knowledge (IK). IK is a unique, important and valuable resource of benefit to all Australians, who recognise, respect and celebrate the cultural distinctions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and value their rich and positive contributions across this continent.

In recent times, IP systems across the world have begun to grapple with the importance of providing adequate recognition and protection of the cultural products and expressions of indigenous peoples.2

The Law Council notes the fundamental importance of IK to the lives and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today and the notion that tradition and culture belong to a community, rather than any particular individual, and are not static but change over time. 

You can read the full submission below.

1 Australian Government, IP Australia, Indigenous Knowledge Consultation Paper (February 2021) (‘IP Australia, Consultation Paper’).

2 See, eg, Stoianoff, Natalie and Roy, Alpana, ‘Indigenous Knowledge and Culture in Australia – the case for sui generis legislation’ (2015) 41(3) Monash University Law Review 745.


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