The Legislative Yuan adopted the Culture Basic Law to safeguard the rights which should be enjoyed by the citizens as the subjects of culture and cultural rights (Taiwan)

Elva Chuang

The Legislative Yuan adopted the Culture Basic Law (hereinafter, the “Law”)  through the entire three-reading procedure on May 10, 2019, and the Law, which consists of 30 articles, was promulgated by the President on June 5, 2019 and came into effect on the day of its promulgation.  This Law is highlighted below:

1. The legislative objectives of this Law are to safeguard the cultural rights of the citizens, expand cultural participation, implement diversified culture, promote diversified cultural development and affirm the basic principles and policy guidelines for the cultural development of this nation. (Compare Article 1 of the Law)

2. This Law specifically stipulates the rights that shall be enjoyed by the citizens as the subjects of culture and cultural rights, including the enjoyment of the freedom and autonomy of creation, expression and participation; the requirement that the citizens’ cultural rights shall be equal without discrimination or unreasonable discriminatory treatments, the access right concerning the participation, appreciation and sharing of culture; the right to choose the language for expression, communication, and creation; the spiritual and property rights and benefits associated with the enjoyment of the fruits of creative activities; and the right to enjoy the participation in the formulation of cultural policies and laws and regulations. (Compare Articles 3 through 8 of the Law) This Law also specifically emphasizes the safeguard of the survival and working rights of cultural and art workers.  (Compare Article 20 of the Law)

3. The obligations which should be fulfilled by the central or local governments in implementing the cultural development of this nation are also specifically stipulated in this Law with a scope covering matters such as cultural preservation; the sound development of museums and libraries, and the creation of the collection and operation systems for museums and libraries; the establishment of all kinds of organizations, facilities, exhibitions and display premises for all kinds of cultural activities; the encouragement of active participation in community and public affairs by the citizens; and the opportunities for cultural education and experience with arts and culture at various stages of education. (Compare Articles 9 through 14 of the Law)

4. This Law provides that the state shall formulate culture-related policies and measures, including relevant encouragement, subsidy, investment, fiscal incentive and other stimulation policies, laws and regulations, cultural communication policies, policies for the development of culture and science and technology, and cultural tourism development policies. The nation is also required to participate in culture-related international organizations, formulate guiding strategies for culture, economics and trade as guidelines for international cultural exchanges and economic and trade cooperation.  (Compare Articles 15 through 19 of the Law)

5. Cultural affairs on a national scale shall be generally planned by the Ministry of Culture. In addition, local governments are required to set up permanent mechanisms for the people’s participation in cultural policies and to organize local cultural development conferences and set a local cultural development plan every four years. This Law also authorizes the Ministry of Culture to prescribe relevant regulations governing cultural and artistic procurement by public schools and government-run enterprises and to request relevant agencies to provide necessary materials for cultural research, surveys and statistics.  (Compare Articles 22, 26 and 27 of the Law)

6. To effectively fulfill the purposes of this Law and secure cultural budgets, this Law specifically provides that the state shall ensure the sound organization of cultural administrative agencies, allocate sufficient manpower and budgets, and recruit a wide variety of domestic and overseas cultural talents, and that the Ministry of Culture shall set up a cultural development fund to carry out matters relating to cultural development and public media.  (Compare Articles 19, 23 and 24 of the Law)