Inheemse kennisstelsels, kulturele erfenisreg en regsbeginsels

Authors AWG Raath, PS Brits

ISSN: 1996-2207
Affiliations: Affiliated with the University of the Free State
Source: Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg, Issue 4, 2018, p. 739 – 753


INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS, CULTURAL HERITAGE LAW AND LEGAL PRINCIPLES The National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999 gave the first step towards protecting indigenous knowledge. Section 5(7)(a) advances the principle that for purposes of the identification, evaluation and management of heritage resources all relevant cultural values and indigenous knowledge systems must be considered. Further provision for indigenous knowledge was made under the Patents Amendment Act 20 of 2005, by including reference to indigenous genetic material, the genetic potential or characteristics of any indigenous species, indigenous biological resource and traditional use. Under the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act 28 of 2013, the recognition and protection of indigenous knowledge as a species of intellectual property was taken further by providing for the protection of relevant manifestations of indigenous knowledge as a species of intellectual property. To this end the Performers’ Protection Act 11 of 1967; the Copyright Act 98 of 1978; the Trade Marks Act 194 of 1993, and the Designs Act 195 of 1993, were amended to advance the protection of indigenous knowledge. Terminology to identify the relevant protectable legal objects included terms such as "indigenous communities" and "traditional communities". Under the Copyright Act for example "traditional knowledge" is defined as work originating and acquiring traditional character from "indigenous communities". These terms were, however, not legally circumscribed and clearly defined for purposes of applying the law. In 2016 the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill, 2015, took the protection of indigenous knowledge a step further by advancing the notion of indigenous knowledge systems as legal objects protectable by law. This article considers problematical aspects pertaining to the terminology used, the tenability of protecting knowledge systems as single legal entities, the possibilities of awarding ethnic groups legal personality and considers some of the implications thereof under South African cultural heritage law. In this regard the pertinent question is considered whether existing legal principles of public and private law could sufficiently be applied in protecting indigenous knowledge systems. To this end, Dworkin’s model of legal principles is used to advocate legal certainty in a highly politically volatile South African society in dealing with its diverse cultural heritage. RECHT ERKL\xc3\x84RT SICH NICHT VON SELBST Die regsvinding moet deur regsprekers in hul uitsprake behoorlik en geloofwaardig gemotiveer word, anders is dit ononderskeibaar van ‘n ongeloofwaardige opmerking van ‘n toevallige maghebber: "Den das Recht erkl\xc3\xa4rt sich nicht von selbst — Von der Justiz forderte der Verfassungsgerichtspr\xc3\xa4sident, sie m\xc3\xbcsse ihre Urteile, aber auch ihre Arbeitsweise besser erl\xc3\xa4utern" — Vo\xc3\x9fkuhle die huidige president van die Duitse konstitusionele hof soos aangehaal in die S\xc3\xbcddeutsche Zeitung (26-07-2018).