Expert Group on Legal Matters – EGLM

Terms of Reference

The following Specific Terms of Reference for the Expert Group on Legal Matters (EGLM) supplement the General Terms of Reference for Expert Groups established by the ICA Programme Commission.


EGLM was established by the ICA Programme Commission at the meeting in Seoul in September 2016. The Executive Board approved the appointment of the Chair in September 2016, as recommended by the Programme Commission.

Purpose and objectives

EGLM provides a forum for high-level discussion and expert advice on the management of archives and records where it has or might have a bearing on and/or is or might be affected by legal and regulatory issues. Its work may include managing projects, the creation of tools and resources to support the work of PCOM, ICA members and the wider archives and records management network and to provide advice or help identify appropriate advisors to the elected officers and the Secretary General. EGLM also liaises on behalf of the ICA with external partners and groups working on similar issues and projects. The EGLM works closely with the Expert Group on Shared Archival Heritage, particularly on matters pertaining to the forgery and theft of archives.

EGLM will undertake projects to support on matters related to :

  • Freedom of Information / Access to Information
  • Data Protection / Privacy laws
  • Intellectual property
  • Legislation that has a particularly big impact on archives and records
  • Laws that authorise and regulate national archive institutions
  • Protection of cultural property against theft and illegal export and forgery of records and archives both within sovereign states and across borders
  • The declassification of records where the access was restricted
  • Other relevant matters identified by the Group

Planning and reporting

EGLM carries out a workplan that will be revised and updated every year for review and approval by PCOM. The Expert Group on legal matters will prepare a written annual report on progress and activities for the members of PCOM, to be tabled at the spring meeting of the PCOM. In consultation with PCOM, the Expert Group may also appoint individuals to represent ICA or set up working groups to focus on particular areas of archives and records legislation (for example the implications for archives of intellectual property law, the theft of archive materials)  where more specialised expertise is required. Such individuals and groups will have specific mandates and deadlines and report to the Chair of EGLM and, therefore indirectly, to PCOM.


The Expert Group on legal matters will apply for funds for its projects and submit a budget as required.


Criteria for membership is recent and extensive experience (“recent and extensive” experience means at least 2 years of practical experience or research in one or more of the areas itemised above as being in the remit of the expert group). Candidates for membership must submit a brief biography and a statement of interest outlining their proposed contributions to the Group.  Membership in the EGLM will be approved by the Programme Commission. All members are expected to commit to working on a practical project or to take responsibility for maintaining/providing some aspect of the Group’s goals.

A call for EGLM membership will be made at ICA annual meetings, as required, to fill vacancies and ensure membership renewal. Members who do not contribute to the group for a period of one year may have their membership revoked.

Meetings and communication

Meetings will take place at least twice annually online and, according to the availability of members, when possible, on the occasion of the ICA annual conference.