Texas Wesleyan Law Review


Hannibal Travis

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My contribution to this symposium will begin in Part I with an overview of the international law of indigenous peoples' intellectual prop- erty interests. Part II will turn to a description of how, over the past millennium and a half, the indigenous peoples of Turkey and Iraq have lost more than two-thirds of their peak populations, most of their cultural and religious sites, and thousands of priceless artifacts and specimens of visual art. Part III will summarize the results of the recent U.S. and EU inquiries into the current deplorable state of the indigenous peoples of Turkey and Iraq. Part IV will propose four legal reforms. First, restitution or compensation should be implemented for the widespread destruction of these indigenous peoples' cultural and intellectual properties by previous regimes, starting at a minimum with destructive campaigns since 1907, a point of transition in international law. Second, autonomous regimes that will promote the security of indigenous peoples' surviving cultural and intellectual patrimony must be adopted. Third, governments and transnational enterprises dealing with them, such as museums, should respect the rights of indigenous peoples to protect, access, and use their property held abroad. Fourth, policies within Turkey and Iraq that restrict the transmission of indigenous cultural and intellectual manifestations should be reformed.



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