Legal protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage as a tool of sustainable development in Jordan: initiatives, challenges, and opportunities

Writer : Alaeldin Alkhasawneh
Year : 2024

Intangible cultural heritage has significant cultural value and is important for development and sustainability. This has led international organizations and national governments to regulate its protection to prevent violations. Jordan has taken various initiatives in this field. These initiatives have encountered many challenges that prompted the administration responsible for preserving ICH to work on creating real opportunities. This paper is concerned with studying the issue of legal protection of the intangible cultural heritage according to the relevant Jordanian legislations. This paper presents a comparative study of the intangible cultural heritage protection systems.
The purpose of this study is to examines Jordanian laws regarding the protection of ICH because a jurisprudential and judicial debate has arisen in Jordan over whether ICH is public property, falls under intellectual property rights protection, or should receive special protection in a sui generis system. The study aims to demonstrate the effective legal protection system to be adopted in Jordan. This study aims to shed light on the legal texts that have been enacted and the legislative amendments adopted in Jordan, in order to present the strengths and weaknesses of these laws and to indicate opportunities for improvement. This goal will be achieved by discussing and comparing the different laws adopted. This study presents proposals for ensuring the effectiveness legal framework relating to ICH.
Using the analytical approach, this study reviews and evaluates the current status and content of the ICH protection in Jordan and then offers suggestions for a suitable legal system. The study identifies the challenges and opportunities relating to the effective protection of ICH. A review of the impact of existing legal instruments related to copyright, patent, and trademarks follows, organized in a descriptive framework to comprehensively analyze the symbiotic relationship between intellectual property rights and ICH. The analytical approach helps the researcher to reach the development of the existing legislative texts. In this research, the authors adopted an approach based on the analysis of legislation and provisions that dealt with the protection of ICH according to the Jordanian legislations. This paper also proposed a framework for analyzing the effectiveness of legislation in Jordan and makes recommendations for the adoption of new rules to regulate this type of heritage. The authors examined this legal framework based on data collected from research papers and websites representing legislative and legal bodies in Jordan. The authors began collecting data on ICH in February 2021. The most relevant data were collected from several official sources in Jordan. Compilation of the theoretical framework for intangible cultural heritage from Journal articles, master's theses and relevant jurisprudence books.
The problems to be resolved regarding ICH protection are connected to the failure to identify the specific nature of ICH and the lack of effective legal protections in Jordan. This paper proposes that the Jordanian legislature grant a tort-like remedy against exploitative or highly prejudicial uses of ICH. This study concludes by emphasizing the need to reform and review Jordanian intellectual property rights laws to ensure effective protection of ICH elements in order to clarify the legal status and the relationship between the owners of ICH and their knowledge and ecosystems or to adopt a sui generis system.
This article highlights the initiatives implemented since Jordan’s ratification of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The significance of the study stems from the importance that Jordan attaches to safeguarding ICH and the richesse of ICH elements existing in Jordan.