Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights

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Weaving intellectual property policy in small island developing states

By Miranda Forsyth

Centre for International Governance & Justice, ANU

Weaving Intellectual PropertyIn their new book, Miranda Forsyth and Sue Farran consider the challenges of creating appropriate intellectual property frameworks in developing economies, focusing on small island states in the Pacific.  The book draws together policy considerations, theories of development and law and empirical studies. It offers a competing model of intellectual property regulation to the usual Western framework, based on local conceptions of culture and indigenous understandings about use, knowledge and transfer of intangible property. This post is an edited version of Miranda’s discussion of the book at a RegNet ‘bookclub’ earlier this year.


The starting point for Weaving intellectual property policy is that Pacific islands have become a site of global pressure to enact an increasing number of intellectual property (IP) laws. In response to this pressure, since 2000 there has been a proliferation of new legislation and policies dealing with IP in countries in the region.

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Centre for International Governance & Justice: News & Events

ForsytheBookclub Event

At a fascinating RegNet ‘bookclub’ on 15th March, CIGJ Associate Professor, Miranda Forsyth was joined by Dr Ian Heath, Managing Consultant of First Thoughts and previously Director General of IP Australia, and RegNet’s Professor Peter Drahos, to discuss her book Weaving intellectual property policy in small island developing states, co-authored with Professor Sue Farran. Miranda’s presentation will feature in a Regarding Rights post in coming months.

Torture and Female Prisoners

In a report delivered earlier this year, Juan E. Méndez, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, considered the applicability of international law’s prohibition of torture to the unique experiences of women and girls and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. Among the issues canvassed by the Rapporteur is the shackling of female prisoners including pregnant women. In a blog on her website, ‘Research for women in prison’, Helen Crewe discusses the Rapporteur’s characterisation of this practice as a form of a torture, and suggests New York State’s Anti-Shackling Bill provides an example of how prohibiting the practice – which she says is widespread in many countries – can be monitored and implemented.