Ethics and Legal

Code of Ethics

The Museums Galleries Australia Code of Ethics (1999) is currently under review so we recommend you check out ICOM's Code of Ethics for Museums

Museums Aotearoa
Museums Association (UK)
American Alliance of Museums


Collections Law

In 2012 Simpsons Solicitors agreed to take over the development of Collections Law in partnership with Shane Simpson.

In 2019 and 2020 Ian McDonald is reviewing and updating Collections Law

This is a free online resource principally written by Shane Simpson with input from people working in museums and galleries, and designed to give people in these sectors reliable legal information on the issues they are most likely to face in their day-to-day work.

There are two options available to read this publication: it can be viewed online, where the reader is able to add comments at the end of each chapter; or a printer-friendly PDF version of individual chapters can be downloaded.

We encourage you to explore this website, and to provide feedback on the publication by using the comments tool at the end of each chapter section or by sending any enquires or comments to

This publication is not a substitute for legal or other professional advice. 

Collections Law


If you need general advice, please contact Museums Galleries Australia and we can try to help were possible.

For more complex issues, we recommend you contact our preferred legal professionals at Simpsons Solicitors.