Law and Ethics: An Introductory Course for Museum Professionals

Posted on: February 1, 2018 by

Location: Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75 Belford Rd, Edinburgh

Dates: 21 and 22 June 2018

Time: 10.00 to 5.00 pm each day

This two-day course is the first of its kind offered by the Institute of Art & Law (IAL) in Scotland. It is intended for museum and gallery professionals and will cover many of the legal issues that are needed in order to better manage collections of art and cultural artefacts. The first day will deal with intellectual property matters for collection managers, including issues relating to copyright, fair dealing, museum-specific exceptions and moral rights. The second day will focus on museum acquisitions, focusing on everything from legal ownership rules to international issues and ethical requirements. The course does not require any previous legal training and will be taught by Alexander Herman (Assistant Director, IAL) and Emily Gould (Senior Researcher, IAL), along with local guest speakers. Participants will be awarded an IAL Certificate.

Cost: £600.00 (incl. VAT), with a 10% reduction for IAL or UKRG members.

TWO LAST-MINUTE SPACES HAVE JUST OPENED UP. If you would like to attend please contact Jo Crabtree at

Day One – Intellectual Property and Collections

  • 10.00 – Introduction to the course
  • 10.20 – An introduction to copyright for museum professionals
  • 11.30 – Break
  • 11.50 – Copyright duration and infringement
  • 1.00 – Lunch
  • 2.00 – Copyright exceptions and collections management
  • 3.30 – Break
  • 3.50 – The moral rights of artists
  • 4.30 – Other forms of intellectual property


Day Two – The Law and Ethics of Museum Acquisitions

  • 10.00 – Introduction to the law of acquisitions
  • 10.10 – Legal rules on acquiring property
  • 11.20 – Break
  • 11.40 – Art contracts
  • 1.00 – Lunch
  • 2.00 – Introduction to the international framework
  • 2.10 – International cultural heritage conventions and other international rules
  • 3.00 – Effect of international conventions on UK law: import bars and criminal law
  • 3.30 – Break
  • 3.50 – Museum ethics