4. Law and legislation
Last update: October, 2021
Following the Constitutional Referendum of 12 November 1995, the new Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan entered into force on 5 December 1995. The country’s basic law was developed in line with the fundamental principles and norms of international law.
Besides general guarantees, fundamental rights, freedoms, and responsibilities, the Constitution has several provisions related to culture and, more specifically, cultural rights, freedom of expression and creativity, copyright protection, heritage protection, etc.
Article 40 of the Constitution (“Right to culture”) provides that “I. Everyone has the right to take part in cultural life, to use cultural institutions and cultural values. II. Everyone must respect and care for historical, cultural and spiritual heritage, protect historical and cultural monuments.”
Article 51 of the Constitution (“Freedom of creative activity”) ensures that “I. Everyone is free to carry out creative activities. II. The state guarantees freedom in literary-artistic, scientific-technical and other kinds of creative activity.”
Article 30 of the Constitution (“Right to intellectual property”) declares, “I. Everyone has the right to intellectual property. II. Copyright, patent rights and other rights to intellectual property are protected by law.”
The interests of artists and cultural workers are also reflected in such articles of the Constitution as “Official language” (Article 21), “Freedom of thought and speech” (Article 47), “Freedom of information” (Article 50) and “Protection of historical and cultural monuments” (Article 77).
Last update: October, 2021
Legislative procedures for the allocation of public funds for culture in the Republic of Azerbaijan is defined by the Constitution, the Law on the Budget System, annual laws and Presidential decrees on the state budget, and annual laws and Presidential decrees on the execution of the state budget. In addition, the Cabinet of Ministers’ Rules of Preparation and Execution of the State Budget and The Unified Budget Classification of the Republic of Azerbaijan are instruments of these procedures for state bodies.
The competence of the Milli Majlis (parliament) includes approval of the state budget upon the submission of the President and supervision over its implementation. An annual law on the state budget approves the amount of revenues and expenditures for the following year, including centralised and local. Tax revenues of the state budget are directed towards the corresponding purposes at the level of sections and subsections of the functional classification, including activities in culture, arts, and related fields.
After adopting the annual law on the state budget, the President signs a special decree on several issues related to applying this law, which approves the order of financing of organisations and events from the state budget. The decree defines the distribution of the budgetary funds for culture between the central and local institutions, activities and events. The costs of education in culture and art, regulation of wages and other social measures, charges for improving the technical base, and extra-budgetary expenditures of budgetary organisations are also specified in this legal act. Finally, the Ministry of Finance specifies incomes and expenditures of sources based on approved indicators of the state budget of the next budget year and delivers it to the Ministry for Culture.
In general, the proposals for the allocation of public funds for culture are based on the estimation of forecasts of the country’s economic and social development for the next and following three years. Targeted programmes and evaluation of the results of the cultural activity are collected during the preparation process of the draft state budget, which starts 11 months before the next budget year. All budgetary cultural institutions participate in this process, submitting their budget requests and forecasts to the Ministry for Culture through the administrative hierarchy, integrating them into a single application.
In case a necessity arises for review of the state budget in the execution process, and it was impossible to consider the need during the preparation and approval of the state budget of the current year, a question can be raised before the Milli Majlis (parliament) in the manner of legislative initiative. Also, the Ministry for Culture may apply to the Ministry of Finance in the second half of the year if required to transfer already allocated funds between paragraphs of the approved indicators of the current state budget year.
The procurement of goods, works and services by budgetary institutions and organisations is based on the Law on Public Procurement. The procurement of goods, works and services by budgetary institutions and organisations is based on the Law on Public Procurement. However, if the amount of the specified public procurement is equal to or exceeds AZN 50 thousand, a compulsory public tendering for funds is announced based on the Law on Tenders.
All budget proposals are prepared under the new Unified Budget Classification, which was approved on October 11, 2018.
Last update: October, 2021
According to Article 38 of the Constitution, “everyone has the right to social security”. Social welfare payments are described by laws On Social Benefits (2006), On Social Insurance (1997), On Protection of Public Health (1997), On Medical Insurance (1999), On Labour Pensions (2006), On Social Services (2011), On Unemployment Insurance (2017), On the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2018), On Employment (2018), et cetera.
In practice, The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population is in charge of regulating the labour markets and ensuring social protection of the population. Regulation of activities in social insurance and provision of pensions to citizens falls under the State Social Protection Fund.
The following public legal entities under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population were established according to the Presidential Decree “On Additional Measures to Improve Governance in the Field of Social Protection” (2019):
- The State Employment Agency (based on the State Employment Service) conducts activities related to the organisation of active employment measures, management of unemployment insurance funds, standards for social protection of job seekers and the unemployed, as well as labour market analysis
- The State Social Protection Fund (based on the State Social Protection Fund) regulates activities in the sector of social insurance and provision of pensions to citizens;
- The State Agency for Medical-Social Expertise and Rehabilitation (based on the State Medical-Social Expertise and Rehabilitation Service); operates in disability identification and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.
- The Social Services Agency provides social services to persons (families) in need of social services, improving their social protection and welfare, and implementing state policy and regulation on adoption.
According to the Presidential Decree On Additional Measures to Ensure the Self-employment of the Population (2016), a self-employment programme is implemented. Within the framework of this programme, low-income families are provided with the state's support to establish or develop the individual households by providing families directly with cattle, material and other property (not cash). In addition, the family is provided with production or service equipment under the business plan provided.
These general social security measures are relevant for culture, and the mentioned schemes would apply to those working in the cultural sector, including self-employed artists. The Law on Culture (2012) also provides social security measures for cultural workers. Social protection of the subjects of cultural activity included in the main directions of state policy and organisation of incentives for cultural workers and creative people for services and contributions to the development of culture are among the duties of the state. It applies to creative workers and includes provisions to improve the working conditions of artists and scientists, e.g. artists and sculptors receive working spaces under favourable conditions (e.g. low rents). Salaries for cultural institutions with national status are well above those that do not enjoy this status. Workers who were actively involved in the country’s cultural development, and have long service, may receive special pensions after retirement. Creative persons who win festivals and competitions are awarded honorary titles, scholarships, orders and medals.
Last update: October, 2021
The Tax Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2001) determines the system of taxes, the general principles of taxation, the rules of the establishment, payment and taxation, et cetera. Presently, there is a unified legislative and regulatory framework for taxation:
- The number of regulations and compliance with laws and regulations governing tax relations has decreased;
- The number of taxes has decreased, which simplifies settlements for taxpayers;
- The tax burden is reduced, which allows the tax system to play a regulatory (stimulating) role.
The most progressive element of the Tax Code is the application of simplified tax rates. So, under Article 218.1.1 of the Tax Code, persons who are not registered for VAT purposes and whose taxable transactions amount to AZN 200 000 or less in any month (months) of a consecutive 12-month period have the right to pay the simplified tax rate. According to Article 219.5 of the Tax Code, a legal entity that pays simplified tax is not a payer of VAT, profit tax, and an individual (including an individual engaged in entrepreneurial activity without establishing a legal entity) is not a payer of income tax and VAT. According to article 220.10 of the Tax Code, the monthly fixed amount of the simplified tax for individuals engaged individually (without employees) in weddings, celebrations and other cultural events individually (without hiring employees) is AZN 20. Since January 2006, enterprises outside Baku pay tax at 2% and those registered in the capital pay tax at 4% of total turnovers. Registration of enterprises is submitted to the tax department and is usually implemented within three days.
The Ministry of Taxes is also constantly expanding its coverage of electronic services provided to taxpayers. So, in 2006, the Automated Tax Information System (AVIS) was established. In 2007, the Internet Tax Administration (www.e-taxes.gov.az) began to exchange electronic documents with banks, and a system of electronic submission of tax returns by legal entities and individuals has been established. Furthermore, since January 1, 2010, the use of electronic invoices began.
Given that tax policy is one of the essential tools for attracting finance and investment in culture and crucial to improving culture and art workers' social status and welfare, there is a need to develop a package of cultural legislation, and this process is undergoing. So, there is good news for enterprises, departments and organisations operating in the field of culture. Tax exemption criteria for enterprises, departments and organisations working in science, education, health, sports and culture were approved by the Decision No. 88 of the Cabinet of Ministers dated March 12, 2020. Legal organisations (except for commercial legal entities) that organise artistic and cultural events, prepare and distribute publications, and produce films for promotion and development of national culture and cultural heritage are exempt from tax. The same applies for legal organisations that function as a theatre, library or museum.
Last update: October, 2021
The Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan (1995), the Labour Code (1999) and laws On Employment (2018), On Trade Unions (1994), and On Culture (2012) regulate employment in the cultural field. A unified system of salaries is in place for those working in the different spheres of the public sector. Relationships between employers and workers are based on a contract system (usually concluded on a permanent or short-term basis). The collective contract is signed between the employer on the one side and the trade union on the other. In the event of the trade union’s absence, the working collective signs the contract. The trade union, working collective, employer, corresponding executive and representative body of employers can initiate signing the contract. The trade union can promote the negotiating related to the contract signing. In the event of its absence, the working collective can establish a commission for that purpose. The Law on State Service (2001) regulates the employment of state employees at all levels.
“ASAN service” centres were established by the Presidential Decree On Measures to Establish the State Agency for Citizen Services and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and to Improve the Services Provided to Citizens by Government Agencies” (2012). It should be noted that ASAN centres, which increase transparency and speed up the transition to e-services, have quickly gained immense popularity among the population and have practically eliminated potential corruption in relations between officials and citizens.
The public legal entity “ABAD” under the State Agency for Citizen Services and Social Innovations, created in 2016 by the corresponding decree of the President, plays a significant role in increasing employment and forming competitive family farms. For instance, ABAD centres implement projects to support family businesses operating in decorative and applied arts and food production. In addition, ABAD centres provide business planning, marketing, training, branding and design, financial accounting, legal assistance and, most importantly, sales organisation and equipment. Furthermore, certification of manufactured products on the principle of “one-stop-shop”, organisation of logistics and sales are also carried out by ABAD.
The Small and Medium Business (SMB) Development Agency under the Ministry of the Economy was established following the Presidential Decree On Further Improvement of Management in the Field of Small and Medium Business” (2017). The goals are to improve the system of business regulation and effective coordination, to increase the role and competitiveness of small and medium enterprises in the country’s economy. In addition, they aimed to adapt the management system to modern requirements, strengthening the legal support of entrepreneurship and creating favourable conditions for developing entrepreneurship in the regions.
The “Sustainable and Operational Social Security Agency” (DOST Agency), a public legal entity under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population, was established according to the Presidential Decree On Additional Measures to Improve Governance in the Areas of Employment, Labour, Social Protection and security” (August 2018). The DOST centres, managed by the Agency, provide services for the appointment of pensions, benefits, employment, and solve other relevant issues.
Last update: October, 2021
The Republic of Azerbaijan is a state member of the following international copyright agreements:
- The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (June 4, 1999),
- The WIPO Copyright Treaty (April 11, 2006),
- The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organisation (December 25, 1995),
- The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (April 11, 2006),
- The Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorised Duplication of Their Phonograms (September 1, 2001),
- The Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations (October 8, 2005), - the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled (December 24, 2018);
- The Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of the Protection of Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (April 5, 1996);
- The European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production (05-02-2002), etc.
The Law on Copyright and Related Rights (1996) regulates the terms arising from the creation and use of scientific, literary and artistic works (copyright), as well as performances, phonograms, programmes broadcasted or cable broadcasting organisations (related rights) on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The main principles of this Copyright and Related Rights Act are those current in European countries. First, it follows the "continental" conception of copyright as a personal right, preferring this to the Anglo-Saxon vision, which stresses the commercial side of copyright. Secondly, the term "author" is interpreted broadly, as it is in other countries with high standards of copyright protection. Finally, authorship is not restricted to directors, scriptwriters and composers in the audio-visual field but extends to camera operators and set designers.
The Act also recognises related rights, performers' rights, and the rights of phonogram producers and broadcasting bodies (TV and radio). Inherited rights are also acknowledged for 50 years after an author's death. Proportional payment is more profitable for authors and other rights-holders. However, the state fixes only the minimum payment rate, and payment methods are negotiated between rights-holders and the users of their works.
The Law on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights and the Fight Against Piracy (2012) regulates the relations for ensuring the enforcement of rights of those who are holders of intellectual property rights, protection of their interests, and preventing infringements, including illegal production and distribution of the copies of intellectual property objects.
The Intellectual Property Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan was established as a result of a merger of the Copyright Agency and Patents and Intellectual Property Agency according to the Order of the President On Measures to Improve Management in the Field of Consumer Market Control, Standardisation, Metrology and Protection of Intellectual Property Rights" (2018). The Intellectual Property Agency is the public legal entity that ensures:
- The development of the field of intellectual property rights,
- Copyright and related rights,
- Rights to data sets and integrated circuit topologies,
- Rights to inventions, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks and geographical indications,
- Rights to samples of Azerbaijani folklore (traditional cultural samples), traditional knowledge and other intangible cultural heritage.
Last update: October, 2021
The Law on Information, Informatisation and Information Protection (1998) regulatesthe relations arising at the formation of information resources based on creation, collection, processing, accumulation, keeping, searching, and dissemination of information. It also applies with the establishment and use of information systems, technology and means for their insurance and at the protection of data. The most important advantage of this law for the cultural sphere is the legal formulation of state policy regarding information resources - documents and arrays of documents in information systems (libraries, archives, funds, data banks, etc.) and separately existing documents in their collections.
The Law on Copyright and Related Rights (1996) protects all translations, anthologies and collective works, including computer programmes and databases.
The Law on the National Archive Fund (1999) protects a set of documents reflecting the material and spiritual life of the people, regardless of the type, place of creation and storage and form of ownership, having historical, scientific, economic, political, social and cultural value, considered an integral part of the cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people.
The Law on the Legal Protection of Data Sets (2004) regulates legal relations arising from creating and using data compilations irrespective of their forms.
The Law on Personal Data (2010) forms personal data in the national information space. It governs the questions connected with cross-border transfer of personal data and establishes the rights and obligations of the state and local government bodies, physical persons and legal entities operating in this sphere.
Last update: October, 2021
The foundations of the state language policy and legal provisions on multilingualism are laid down in the relevant articles of the Constitution (1995). The official language is the Azerbaijani language; the state guarantees the development of the Azerbaijani Language and ensures free use and development of other languages spoken by the population. Everyone has the right to use their native language. In addition, everyone has the right to an upbringing, education, and engage in any creative activity in any language, as desired. No person may be deprived of the right to use their native language. The Law on the State Language in the Republic of Azerbaijan was passed and came into force on 30 September 2002.
The Law on Media (1999) states that “The mass media use the state language in the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic. Therefore, mass media must observe the norms of the state language. Citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan have the right to use other languages spoken by the population of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as other languages widely spoken in the world, and the production and dissemination of mass information.”
The Law on Advertising (2015) determines that “…in addition to the state language of the Republic of Azerbaijan, other languages may be used in the advertisement”.
Last update: October, 2021
The Law on Getting Information (2005) provides that access to information in the Republic of Azerbaijan is free. Everyone has the right to contact the owner of the information directly or through his representative and to choose the type and form of access to information. Everyone who applies to the owner of the data has the right: to find out whether the requested information belongs to the owner of the information and to receive additional details to obtain it in the absence of this information. If the data owner has the requested information, then it must be provided freely, without obstacles and on equal terms for all.
At the same time, access to information is allowed on the condition that this access does not contradict protecting the interests of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the political, economic, military, financial-credit and monetary policy. Furthermore, it must not contradict the protection of public order, health, and morality, protection of rights and freedoms of others, commercial and other economic interests, the purposes of ensuring the reputation and impartiality of the court, the ordinary course of the criminal investigation.
Last update: October, 2021
Azerbaijani society is typified by cultural diversity, so all laws on culture are geared to satisfy a broad range of cultural requirements. Some laws are general (e.g. the Law on Culture of 2012), others more specific (e.g. the laws on cinematography, town planning, museums and publishing). The Law on Culture spells out the state policy's principles and aims and lays down the duties of government and local authorities in this area. It guarantees the right of individuals to engage in creative activity, promotes international contacts and co-operation, prevents the state from monopolising culture, and covers preservation and development of the cultural identity and heritage of Azerbaijan and ethnic minorities, historically resident in its territory. It also provides measures to promote creativity and public agencies and organisations working in the cultural sphere.
The Law on Culture (2012) is intended tp legalise all trends and expertise of current cultural policies and practices, such as arts management, cultural marketing, fundraising, producing, etc. State interference is limited to prohibiting any material that is pornographic or which encourages violence, racial, national or religious intolerance or drug addiction. Effective legal sanctions back these prohibitions.
The development of legal guarantees for the arts and culture in the Republic of Azerbaijan includes:
- Complex improvement of national cultural policy legislation;
- Enhancement of international conventions and bilateral agreement implementation mechanisms; and
- Perfection of existing practice on cultural and authors' rights protection.
Table 2: List of existing cultural legislation
|Title of the law||Year of adoption|
|On Culture||21 December 2012 № 506-IVQ|
|On Copyright and Related Rights||5 June 1996 № 115-IQ|
|On Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments||10 April 1998 № 470-IQ|
|On Cinematography||3 July 1998 № 515-IQ|
|On Library work||29 December 1998 № 611-IQ|
|On Museums||24 March 2000 № 839-IQ|
|On Publishing||30 may 2000-ci il № 887-IQ|
|On Legal Protection of Azerbaijani Folklore Samples||16 May 2003 № 460-IIQ|
|On Protection and Development of Azerbaijani Carpet Art||7 December 2004 № 799-IIQD|
|On Theatre and Theatre Activities||29 December 2006 № 222-IIIQ|
Source: Milli Majlis (Parliament), 2021.
Table 3: International legal instruments implemented by the Republic of Azerbaijan in the cultural field
|Title of the act||Year of adoption|
|International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights||1992 13 Aug 1992 a|
|Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its I and II Protocols||1993 (Protocols on 1993 and 2000)|
|Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage||1993 16/12/1993 R|
|Black Sea Convention on Cooperation in the fields of Culture, Education, Science and Information||1995|
|Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees concerning Higher Education in the States belonging to the Europe Region||1996|
|Universal Copyright Convention||1997|
|Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property||1997|
|European Cultural Convention||1997|
|Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works||1998|
|Convention for the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage of Europe||1999|
|European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production||1999|
|UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects||2000|
|Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage||2006|
|Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe||2008|
|Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions||2009|
Source: Milli Majlis (Parliament), 2021.
Last update: October, 2021
The Law on Culture (2012) pays a lot of attention to cultural heritage in general and its areas that are outlined in relevant chapters: immovable, movable, intangible cultural heritage, including historical and cultural monuments, cultural property, national cultural archives, examples and objects of national cultural heritage, underwater cultural heritage, national culinary examples, commitments to the protection of national cultural heritage and of cultural values, mode of use of cultural objects, list of protected cultural treasures, export of cultural resources, etcetera.
The Law on the Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments (April 1998) defines the issues, specifies the responsibilities of state and local authorities, and lays down principles for the use, study, conservation, restoration, reconstruction, renovation and safety of historical and cultural monuments. The scope of the law extends to archaeological and architectural objects, ethnographic, numismatic, epigraphic, anthropological materials, buildings, monuments, things related to historical events and personalities, and values related to religious beliefs. Furthermore, the law declares that privatisation of state-owned monuments included in the list of world natural and cultural heritage and national cultural and natural heritage is not allowed.
New requirements concerning the keep and use of national archives, the need to determine the ownership status of state and non-state archives and documents, and the absence of any legal basis for management and use of this immense intellectual resource, were the main inspiration for the Law on National Archives Fund (June 1999).
The Law on Museums (March 2000) regulates relations between museums and the state, defines the duties, functions, privileges and powers of both sides, lays down detailed rules on museum activity, promotes the protection, conservation, development and enrichment of museum collections, and improves the social security position of museum workers.
The Law on Specially Protected Natural Areas and Objects (March 24, 2000) declares that specially protected natural areas and objects are the national wealth of the Republic of Azerbaijan and have exceptional ecological, scientific, cultural and aesthetic value. It refers to state nature reserves (including the biosphere), national, nature, ecological, zoological, geological and dendrological parks, natural monuments, botanical gardens, health resorts, et cetera. This Law determines the legal bases of the organisation and protection of specially protected natural areas in the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic, and protection of specially protected natural objects.
The Cabinet of Ministers also approved necessary rules and guidelines in this domain:
- The Rules of Import, Export and Transit of Cultural Values Through the Territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2014),
- The Rules of Temporary Export of Cultural Values in Connection with Exhibitions, Tours, Restoration Works, Presentations, Carrying out of International Cultural Actions (2014),
- The Rules for the Protection, Restoration and Use of Cultural Heritage in the Republic of Azerbaijan (2015) and
- The Guarantees Given to Owners of Objects of National Cultural Heritage to Ensure the Protection of These Objects (2016), et cetera.
Last update: October, 2021
Article 21 of the Law on Culture (2012) recognises the organisation of art and artistic events, creative competitions, exhibitions, creative evenings, cultural and art presentations, festivals for promotion, encouragement and development of Azerbaijani culture as a part of organisational activities in the field of culture. Furthermore, article 25 provides that creative persons, winners of festivals and competitions who have made notable contributions to the development and promotion of culture shall be awarded honorary titles, scholarships, etcetera. In addition, article 45 of this law approves that public funding of cultural events and development projects in music, choreography, theatre and circus, et cetera, organised by non-governmental organisations, is expedient.
The Law on Legal Protection of the Samples of Azerbaijani Folklore (2003) regulates relationships arising from legal protection, use and maintenance of national folklore expressions, which are a component of cultural heritage as a particular type of intellectual property. The law refers to artworks, folk music, games and dances, folk handicraft and applied arts, and other products of folk work created and protected by the Azerbaijani people. Article six of this law (“Requirements for the use of folklore samples”) states that the forms of traditional, standard and commercial use of folklore expressions in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be free. Legal and natural persons of other states shall be entitled to use folklore expression outside the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan for commercial purposes only with the authorisation by the relevant executive body and with payment of the fee for use. That fee shall be used for the promotion of intellectual creativity and the safeguarding and enriching of folklore expressions. Article 8 of the law provides that in cases of mass performance and notification of folklore samples, their source, as well as the geographical name of the place of origin of the folklore sample used and (or) the name of the people (society) to which they belong must be clearly indicated.
The Law on Theatres and Theatre Activities, initiated by the Ministry for Culture, entering into force in 2006, governs the relations arising in the preparation and mass demonstration of theatrical performances, and determines the legal basis of theatrical activities and state support of theatres. The law establishes an institution of theatre producers. It brings new impetus to the infrastructural reforms and development of professional Azerbaijani theatre, which has a rich history dating back a century and a half. Chapter IV of this law (“Exclusive right to live performance of theatrical productions”) defines the subjects of the exclusive right in connection with the live performance of a theatrical performance, rights of authors, producers and performers, duties of the producer in connection with the protection of the creative solution of the theatrical performance and protection of the right to theatrical performance.
Last update: October, 2021
The Law on Culture (2012) defines artisanship (applied arts, traditional decorative arts, national fine arts) as a kind of intangible cultural heritage. Works of fine arts (including plaques, pictures, drawings, engravings, stamps, lithographs, patterns, sculptures, original art collections and montage) and works of applied art (carpets and carpet products, gold, platinum, silver, precious stones, copper and clay items, ceramics) are classified as cultural values.
The Law on Legal Protection of Azerbaijani Folklore Samples (2003) regulates the relations arising in connection with the provision of legal protection, use and protection of national folklore, which is an integral part of the cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, as a particular type of intellectual property. It also applies to examples of applied arts and folk crafts, including graphic arts, paintings, series drawings, shadow paintings, forging and carving, sculpture, ceramics, clay, mosaics, metalwork, copper and bronse castings, silkworm breeding, carpet weaving, coppersmithing, jewellery, tanning, embroidery, basket-making, clothes, ornaments, patterns, musical instruments, carpentry, architectural works and other such examples.
The Law On Protection and Development of Azerbaijani Carpet Art (2004) regulates the relations arising with the preservation, study, promotion and development of Azerbaijani carpets woven in the historical territory of Azerbaijan and now hand-woven by folk artists, masters and painters. It is helpful to note that this law is an exciting and original example of concrete and practical legislation in visual arts and crafts.
First, it underlines that the Azerbaijani carpet is a material and spiritual wealth of the Azerbaijani people, the result of intellectual activity, reflecting the aesthetic outlook, artistic talent, originality and cultural identity of the people, and provides the main indicators of the Azerbaijani carpet as follows:
- Type of carpet (pileless and piled carpet);
- Carpet art schools (Guba, Shirvan, Derbent, Baku, Ganja, Gazakh, Borchali, Goycha, Karabakh, Nakhchivan, Tabriz, Ardabil, Zanjan, Khalkhal, Urmia, Garadagh, Marand, Maragha);
- Carpet names (names determined by the place of weaving, taste, composition, the pattern of the carpet);
- Sample (a technical project of the composition and pattern of the rug to be woven, prepared by the artist);
- Artistic features - composition of the carpet (pattern and colour arrangement), ornament (national pattern and its elements), colour (colour shades or colour solution).
Second, the register of the Azerbaijani carpet must be compiled and maintained by the relevant executive authority to create a database on the type, school, names, weaving techniques, dye composition, and artistic features of the carpets.
Third, the law provides for the certification of Azerbaijani carpets, i.e.:
- The word "Azerbaijan" and the name of the school of carpet weaving are woven with loops on the mass-produced and individually woven Azerbaijani carpets.
- To determine Azerbaijani carpets' conformity and artistic significance to the samples of folk art, the carpets are certified following the procedure established by the relevant executive authority.
Last update: October, 2021
The Law on Libraries (1998) aims to improve the organisation of libraries, make libraries more effective and valuable, and extend library and information services to people living in rural areas. It provides the legal basis that libraries require to do their job effectively, improve, and update their working methods. The Act formulates the principles of state policy on libraries, provides an everyday basis for the library system, regulates the founding and running of libraries, and covers funding, the public's rights regarding the use of libraries, and the principles of international cooperation in this area.
The Law on Publishing (2000) is designed to remedy shortcomings in the publishing and printing industry and supply the lack of comprehensive legislation in this sector. The Act lays down the main principles of state policy, specifies the state's duties, defines optimum approaches to the organisation and running of publishing and printing activities, and formulates principles to govern relations between operatives in this area.
Publishers, printing companies, distributors are entirely free in preparing thematic plans and programmes, selecting topics and authors, determining the circulation, price and trade supplements (discounts) of publications (except for publications financed based on state programmes), forms of communication with each other and other legal entities and individuals.
The Law on Mass Media (1999) regulates the general rules of search, acquisition, preparation, transmission, production and dissemination of mass information. It determines the basis of organisational, legal and economic activities of the press, news agencies, and television and radio organisations.
Article 29 (“Mandatory copies”) of the Law on Mass Media, Article 15 of the Law on Libraries (‘Provision of libraries with free compulsory copies”) and article 22 of the Law on Publishing (“Mandatory copies”) regulate legal deposit (compulsory library copies) matters. Obligatory copies of printed materials issued by state and non-state publishing houses, polygraphic enterprises engaged in publishing activities and other legal entities must be sent to the library designated by the Ministry for Culture (3 free obligatory copies) and to the libraries determined by the Milli Majlis (2 free mandatory copies). In addition, all newspapers and magazines published in the Republic of Azerbaijan must send two free copies of their newspapers and magazines to the libraries specified above. Electronic versions of the obligatory copies shall also be submitted to libraries if stipulated in the contract concluded between the customer and the publishing house (publisher). The use of objects included in the Library Fund is carried out following the Law on Copyright and Related Rights requirements.
There is no special translation legislation. However, the Azerbaijan State Translation Centre (AzSTC) under the Cabinet of Ministers was founded in 2012 to oversee the accuracy of the language and translation in the country; and promote Azerbaijani literature worldwide at the international level and world literature in the country through translations into Azerbaijani.
Last update: October, 2021
The Law on Cinematography (1998) provides a legal basis for cinematography as a particular form of art, regulates state funding, and covers measures to promote Azerbaijani films. Furthermore, the Law On accession to the European Convention on Joint Film Production (1999) provides vast opportunities for cooperation within Europe.
There are two primary laws on TV and radio: the Law on Television and Radio Broadcasting (2002) and the Law on Public Television and Radio Broadcasting (2004).
The Law on Television and Radio Broadcasting (2002) determines legal, economic, and organisational bases for these spheres and inputs restrictions on television and radio broadcasting monopolies. It defines that state, municipal, private, and public broadcasters form the basis of the national television and radio system.
The law provides that:
- A private broadcaster may be established by citizens permanently residing in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan and (or) legal entities whose authorised capital belongs to citizens permanently residing in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
- Persons previously convicted of severe crimes and crimes against public morality, political parties and religious institutions, and so on may not be the founders of private television and radio broadcasting services.
Recent amendments urge:
- not to promote tobacco products and the process of tobacco use, as well as not to broadcast works, performances, programmes in which tobacco products and the process of tobacco use are demonstrated;
- not to disseminate information products in the country without ensuring the classification of information products by age following the Law on Protection of Children from Harmful Information and marking information products per the relevant age category.
The Law on Public Television and Radio Broadcasting (2004) outlines specific cultural obligations that public broadcasters must follow:
- recording of performances, feature, documentary and cartoon films, serials, works of art, important historical and cultural events on the works of Azerbaijani and world authors and keeping them in the golden fund of the public broadcaster for future generations;
- programmes should reflect national and spiritual values, national customs and traditions, all the diversity of culture and art.
The law states that:
- Public broadcasting programmes, as a rule, are broadcast in the state language;
- Programmes prepared in a foreign language must be accompanied by subtitles in the Azerbaijani language, except programmes taught and retransmitted in this language;
- Feature films, documentaries, speeches, et cetera must be translated into Azerbaijani;
- Public broadcasting programmes must include programmes in the languages of national minorities living on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
According to the article about "Requirements for public broadcasting programmes" of this law, "the programmes should prioritise the broadcasting of film, TV, video and radio products produced in Azerbaijan."
The Law On Mass Media (1999) recognises the Internet as a type of media. In addition, the Internet is included on the list of telecommunications services regulated by the Law on Telecommunications (2005).
Last update: October, 2021
The responsibilities of the state in the field of culture cover architecture, design, advertising, and other areas of activity, according to the Law on Culture (2012). Moreover, design works and architectural projects, parks and natural landscape objects, architectural monuments are classified as cultural property. Architectural, archaeological, cultural and historical, religious and secular monuments important for the national cultural heritage, and archaeological, natural areas and architectural complexes of historical and artistic interest and works of art are considered immovable cultural heritage. Copying of cultural values and their use for advertising purposes must comply with the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Copyright and Related Rights requirements.
Negative building trends in the early 1990s had severe effects on the architectural and aesthetic quality of cities, towns, and settlements. It was the background to the Law on Architectural Activity (1998). The law set out to stop the downward slide caused by a lack of proper control, restore architectural harmony, and preserve the architectural heritage that, over the centuries, has given Azerbaijani cities their unique character.
The Urban Planning and Construction Code (2012) pays significant attention to landscape issues and provides that the protection of historical landscapes and cultural heritage sites, specially protected natural areas or facilities, must be ensured as part of urban planning and construction activities.
The Law on Advertising (2015) determines the legal basis of relations, control and regulation in order, production (preparation) and advertising distribution, and self-regulation in this field.