Yesterday marked the launch of the Art, Business and Law LLM programme being offered in partnership between Queen Mary, University of London and the Institute of Art and Law. Classes won’t begin until September 2017, but this was the first public event held in preparation for the new programme. The launch included a seminar on the topic of Brexit, which has for months been the elephant in the room when discussing the future of the art market and arts management in Britain. A total of six speakers, all either leading academics or legal practitioners in this field, engaged with the question of the effect of Brexit on the law of the art market and arts management.
The first panel dealt with the implications of Brexit for intellectual property. Simon Stokes, author of The Artist’s Resale Right and Art and Copyright, spoke about the future of the artist’s resale right in Britain, a right introduced into UK law in 2006 pursuant to an EU Directive. The question is, will a post-Brexit government want to keep this right? This was then followed by a talk from Uma Suthersanen, professor of intellectual property law at Queen Mary on the topic of orphan works and out-of-commerce works, both of which are subject to EU rules and policies, neither of which would be binding on the UK after Brexit.
Miriam Goldby and myself then introduced the LLM Programme, explaining the features of this one-of-a-kind programme, the role that Norman Palmer played in developing the programme, and outlining the course content for each of the six programme modules: art and governance; art transactions; art, cultural values and ethics; art and money; art and intellectual property; and art disputes and their resolution.
Tony Baumgartner then spoke about the area of criminal law, explaining that, while substantive criminal law in England is for the most part unaffected by EU directives and regulations, there have been examples where EU Directives have either directly or indirectly affected the criminal law as it relates to cultural objects in the UK: namely with regards to the Iraq Order of 2003 and the Syrian regulations of 2014.
This was followed by a panel on arbitration and mediation by Hetty Gleave (Hunters LLP) and Debbie De Girolamo (Queen Mary), who discussed some of the broader principles of alternative dispute resolution and how it may – or more likely, may not – be affected by the UK’s removal from the EU. Finally Geoffrey Bennett, Director Emeritus of the London Law Programme at Notre Dame University, discussed museum loans and contractual issues and how these might be affected in a post-Brexit environment.
The theme of the day was a rather simple one: uncertainty. It was still too soon to tell which rules, if any, will see any substantive changes following Brexit. And, as a result, the effect on the art market and art management is far from clear.
All six speakers, along with others, will be involved in instructing on the Art, Business and Law programme. This group was selected and put together by Norman Palmer, working alongside key figures at Queen Mary.
The launch was very popular and sold out well in advance. As a result, some of those who wanted to attend were unable. We’re very sorry for this and hope that you can join us at one of our next events in the near future. We would also like to thank Clyde & Co LLP (and in particular Tony Baumgartner) for being such gracious hosts to the 120 people in attendance.