The Australian Legal Philosophy Students' Association is pleased to announce our third seminar of 2018. We welcome Ms Jocelyn Bosse as our guest speaker, a PhD student in the TC Beirne School of Law and a former Treasurer of ALPSA. Attendees are more than welcome to join Jocelyn and the ALPSA Executive Committee after the seminar for refreshments.

In a remote Aboriginal community in Wadeye, a group of women are addressing issues at the nexus of intellectual property law, traditional medicinal knowledge, and Western science. The Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana, a.k.a. gubinge or mi-marral) is a native Australian plant with the highest known vitamin C content in the world. The fruit has strong cultural value for Indigenous communities in northern Australia, and today, is harvested by the women of Wadeye and used in a variety of foods, cosmetics, and health products. Historically, however, the Kakadu plum has been the object of interest from US cosmetic companies, which have used patent law as a mechanism of unauthorised appropriation of native plants and traditional knowledge.

Australian legislation, and international treaties like the UN Convention on Biological Diversity 1992, have sought to regulate the use of indigenous ecological or medicinal knowledge, especially as it relates to the intellectual property regime (i.e. access and benefit sharing laws). The presentation will critically examine certain assumptions that pervade discourse on access and benefit sharing laws, by reference to the story of the Kakadu plum and the innovative practices being employed by the women’s group in Wadeye and their collaborators.

The seminar will also reflect upon the World IP Day 2018 theme of ‘Women in Innovation and Creativity’.

Jocelyn Bosse is a PhD student in the TC Beirne School of Law. She conducts research as part of the ARC Laureate Fellowship project entitled, ‘Harnessing Intellectual Property to Build Food Security’. She is also a former member of the ALPSA Executive.



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