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Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP)

Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) refers to Indigenous peoples' rights to their cultural heritage based on the fundamental right to self-determination. Cultural heritage includes all aspects of cultural practices, traditional knowledge, resources and knowledge systems developed by Indigenous people as part of their Indigenous identity. This includes:


  • Artistic, literary and performance works (copyright)

  • Indigenous Languages

  • Different types of knowledge (e.g. plant and spiritual knowledge)

  • Tangible and intangible cultural property

  • Indigenous ancestral remains and genetic materials

  • Cultural and environmental resources

  • Sites of Indigenous significance

  • Documentation of Indigenous heritage and histories.


True Tracks® Principles to help protect ICIP:

Currently, the Australian legal system does not adequately protect ICIP rights. There are gaps in the law which means that unless Indigenous people can meet the requirements of intellectual property laws such as copyright, their cultural heritage is open to exploitation.


To address this issue, we developed True Tracks®, a 10 principle framework for working with Indigenous peoples to protect ICIP. True Tracks® provides the basis for the creation of ICIP Protocols for organisations, businesses and projects involving Indigenous peoples and ICIP.

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We can help you with
  • Delivering workshops on ICIP

  • Developing ICIP Protocols

  • Drafting research agreements

  • Drafting Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) agreements

  • Creating Community Engagement and Consultation guides and plans

  • Advising on the safeguarding of Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions

  • Guiding on Indigenous cultural heritage issues

Watch our Law Way video to learn more about the importance of ICIP Protocols in business.

Our blog posts on ICIP
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