Faculty of Law

Hon. Michael Kirby to Discuss Science, Patents and Access to Healthcare


Michael Kirby is a past Justice of the High Court of Australia and an Honorary Professor at UTAS Law

Start Date

23rd Mar 2016 3:00pm

End Date

23rd Mar 2016 4:30pm


Stanley Burbury Theatre, University Centre, Sandy Bay Campus

RSVP / Contact Information

E: UTAS.Events@utas.edu.au; T: 6226 2521. Register online.

Recent cases, in the United States and elsewhere, have seen the commercial acquisition of pharmaceutical companies and the huge increase in the cost of their products which have effectively placed essential medicines out of the reach of poorer people and countries, despite desperate needs.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals. SDG Goal 3 sets the objective of access by all to essential medicines as a target for the world, by 2030. But can this Goal be achieved in the light of the present international law?

The Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG

Michael Kirby Michael Kirby is a past Justice of the High Court of Australia and an Honorary Professor of the University of Tasmania. He currently serves on a new high-level panel of the United Nations examining "policy incoherence" between international trade rules on intellectual property of new pharmaceutical products and the provisions in international law that provide for access to essential healthcare.

in conversation with: 

Professor Peter Rathjen

Peter Rathjen Professor Rathjen is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania. Prior to his appointment to the University of Tasmania, Professor Rathjen was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Dean of Science at the University of Melbourne. As a biochemist, he specialised in embryonic stem (ES) cell research. He established an internationally recognised research program into stem cell biology and stem cell therapies.

hosted by:

 Professor Dianne Nicol

Di Nicol profile pic

Dianne Nicol is a Professor of Law and Chair of Academic Senate. Professor Nicol 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. Her research history includes both law and science.

Her current research focuses on the regulation of biotechnology and human genetics. She is particularly interested in the commercialisation of genetic knowledge and patenting of genetic inventions.

Register online to this free event.