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LAW4193 - Biotechnology and the law

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Law


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


The unit provides an overview of the law regarding the undertaking and commercialisation of biotechnology and its outcomes. The unit focuses on Australian law and where relevant, the approach taken in overseas jurisdictions is included. Areas examined will include the laws with respect to research and development, product regulation, environmental and medical law. Topics include introduction to international regulation of biotechnology and problems in regulating science generally; national and state regulatory system for biotechnology; bioprospecting and biodiscovery - access to genetic resources; regulation of end product commercialisation; issues in human and animal technology.


On completion of this unit students should:

  1. have an understanding with the laws and regulations relevant to;
    1. the undertaking of biotechnology research generally in Australia as well as biotechnology research involving animal and/or human subjects including cloning and stem cell research;
    2. commercialisation of the outcomes of biotechnology; and
    3. bioprospecting;
  2. have an application of the legal implications of current events on the law regarding the application of biotechnology in the commercial environment;
  3. have a familiarity of treaty law applicable to biotechnology;
  4. demonstrate a capacity to analyse and apply current biotechnology law to factual situations and an awareness of how those laws may be improved in order to enhance the use of biotechnology for the benefit of the community.


Examination (3 hours plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 100% OR Examination (2 hours plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 70 % and assignment (2000 words): 30%

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week