People, Plants and the Law

Online Lecture Series

The People, Plants, and the Law lecture series explores the legal and lively entanglements of human and botanical worlds.

Today people engage with and relate to plants in diverse and sometimes divergent ways. Seeds—and the plants that they produce—may be receptacles of memory, sacred forms of sustenance, or sites of resistance in struggles over food sovereignty. Simultaneously, they may be repositories of gene sequences, Indigenous knowledge, bulk commodities, or key components of economic development projects and food security programs.

This lecture series explores the special role of the law in shaping these different engagements, whether in farmers’ fields, scientific laboratories, international markets, or elsewhere.

Please note that all dates and time displayed are in Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).


Berris Charnley

Carol Ballard

Upcoming lecture

Watch our previous lectures

Professor Jack Kloppenburg (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Seed companies demand that purchasers of their seed pay a royalty and respect the intellectual property rights they hold on the crop varieties they claim as their inventions.
Associate Professor Jane Anderson and Associate Professor Maui Hudson discusses concerns over Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Indigenous rights under the Nagoya Protocol underpinning the development and application of Traditional Knowledge and Biocultural Labels/Notices.
Dr Jose Bellido discusses how significant the controversies concerning the copyright of plastic plants were in addressing the unstable distinction between the natural and the artificial, particularly when the subsistence of copyright was at stake.
Professor Daniel Kevles discusses the history of commercial plant nurseries and how the market sought to protect their investments in the creation or acquisition of novelties and how to prevent cheats from offering fraudulent plants under branded names.
Biocultural community protocols are broadly understood as instruments that set out terms and conditions for the access and use of resources and knowledge owned and controlled by Indigenous and local communities.
Dr Vandana Shiva joins us in our first 2023 instalment of the People, Plants and the Law lecture series where she will discuss people, plants and Intellectual Property Law, specially patents and breeders rights.
Join Senior Lecturer Kjell Ericson from Kyoto University as he contextualizes the activities of the plant patent movement these breeders and propagators joined.
Join Associate Professor Courtney Fullilove from Wesleyan University as she aims to unite diverse insights in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences by theorizing seeds as deep time technologies.
Presented by Professor Graham Dutfield from the University of Leeds.
This conference will explore the special role of the law in shaping these different engagements, whether in farmers’ fields, scientific laboratories, international markets, or elsewhere.

This lecture series is a partnership between The University of Queensland, The ARC Laureate Project Harnessing Intellectual Property to Build Food Security, The ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant  Success in Nature & Agriculture, and The ARC Uniquely Australian Foods Training Centre.


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