Faculty of Law

Dianne Nicol

Dianne Nicol

Prof Dianne Nicol

Professor - Associate Dean Research

Contact Details

Contact Campus Sandy Bay Campus
Building Faculty of Law Building
Room Reference 2.08
Telephone +61 3 6226 7553
Fax +61 3 6226 7623
Email Dianne.Nicol@utas.edu.au


I started my academic career as a scientist, receiving a PhD from Dalhousie University in Canada in 1987. I started studying law after moving to Tasmania in 1992. I was admitted as a barrister and solicitor to the Supreme Court of Tasmania and the High Court of Australia in 1998 and spent some time in legal practice. I commenced work as an academic at the University of Tasmania in 2000 and was appointed as full Professor in 2009. My teaching focuses on primarily on the interface between technology and the law, with particular focus on intellectual property law. The broad theme of my research in the law discipline is the regulation of biotechnology and human genetics. I am particularly interested in the commercialisation of genetic knowledge and patenting of genetic inventions. I am currently the lead chief investigator on two Australian Research Council funded projects, one on patenting of biotechnology inventions, the other on the role of law in the era of personalised medicine. I have served as Deputy Dean of the Law Faculty and I am currently Associate Dean, Research. At the end of 2011 I finished a five year tenure as Chair of the University’s Animal Ethics Committee.


 BRCA Patent Law Suits project


Selected recent publications

  • D Nicol and ER Gold, ‘Standards for Biobank Access and Intellectual Property’ in: M Rimmer and A McLennan (eds) Intellectual Property and Emerging Technologies: The New Biology (Cheltenham UK: Queen Mary Studies in Intellectual Property, Edward Elgar; 2012) pp133-157

  • D Nicol, ‘Implications of DNA Patenting: Reviewing the Evidence’ (2011) 21 Journal of Law, Information and Science 7-36

  • A Ridley and D Nicol, ‘Is There Still a Place for Gene Patents in Australia? Implications of Recent US and European Case Law’ (2011) 19 Journal of Law and Medicine 282-299

  • C Critchley and D Nicol, ‘Understanding the Impact of Commercialisation on Public Support for Science: Is It About the Funding Source or the Organization Conducting the Research?’ (2011) 20 Public Understanding of Science 347-366

  • K Bowrey, M Handler and D Nicol, Emerging Challenges in Intellectual Property (Melbourne: Oxford University Press; 2011)

  • K Bowrey, M Handler and D Nicol, Australian Intellectual Property: Commentary, Law and Practice (Melbourne: Oxford University Press; 2011)

  • M Otlowski, D Nicol and M Stranger, ‘Biobanks Information Paper 2010’ (2010) 20 Journal of Law, Information and Science 87-203

  • D Nicol, ‘Collaborative Licensing in Biotechnology: A Survey of Knowledge, Experience and Attitudes in Australia’ (2010) 29 Biotechnology Law Report 465-483

  • C Critchley, D Nicol, M Otlowski and M Stranger, ‘Predicting Intention to Biobank: A National Survey’ (2010) European Journal of Public Health online publication doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckq136

  • D Nicol and J Nielsen, ‘Opening the Dam: Patent Pools, Innovation and Access to Essential Medicines’ in: K Rubenstein, M Rimmer and T Pogge, Incentives for Global Public Health: Patent Law and Access to Essential Medicines (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2010) pp235-262

For a full list of publications, grants and consultancies and postgraduate supervision see:  Web Access Research Portal (WARP)


More information is available about Prof Nicol's BRCA Patent Law Suit Project here

Units Taught

LAW450 - Equity
LAW652 - Media Law
LAW619 - Biotechnology Law
LAW664 - Intellectual Property