Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Conference criticizing the international politics of Traditional Knowledge

A conference held recently at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva brought to the surface a powerful set of academic critiques of the politics of TK law at the international level. Criticizing instruments like the otherwise much-praised Nagoya Protocol, academics (many of whom involved in the negotiations and / or implementation of the instrument) suggested that the field is still riddled with concessions to state sovereignty and loopholes that disregard the transnational nature of TK exploitation.

A fuller report of the conference presents some of the arguments made in more nuance, and is well worth a read.

Written by Lucas Lixinski

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia: the Act of Recognition

This blog has discussed in the past the issue of constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia, and how a referendum was being called for after an expert panel convened by the government recommended so.

It later discussed how the referendum had failed to gain sufficient momentum, and an Act of Recognition was being considered, with a sunset clause which would bring about the referendum in the foreseeable future. The proposal was soaked in the mud of partisan politics, but that all recently changed, and the Opposition decided to support the legislation. So, in February 13th, the Act of Recognition was finally passed.

The Prime Minister's speech at the signature of the act explains its content and the achievement that the legislation is on its own. Let's now hope that this in fact helps build momentum towards the referendum. Stay tuned for more developments!

Post written by Lucas Lixinski.