Centre for Law and Genetics


The CLG was established in the early 1990s as a partnership between Professors Don Chalmers, Margaret Otlowski, Loane Skene and Dianne Nicol. The aim was to undertake focussed research on the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic technologies in Australia. At a similar time, ELSI was established and the Human Genome Project was underway. Although this remains a key focus of the CLG’s research, the current research focus is now more appropriately described under the umbrella of ‘better health’.

Key goals of the CLG's projects are to:

  • develop and improve regulatory standards;
  • facilitate the promise of genetic technology and other emerging technologies; and
  • facilitate better healthcare in society.

The CLG currently operates under the leadership of Professors Dianne Nicol (Director), Don Chalmers (Deputy-director) and Margaret Otlowski (Deputy-director), who are all active researchers. The founders have all remained involved in the CLG and Professor Loane Skene is a close collaborator. A number of additional people, including postgraduate students, have joined the CLG and brought rich new areas of research.

The CLG has a number of current and past research projects funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (view grants). CLG members also work collaboratively with interstate and international colleagues. We welcome opportunities for further research in the law and health areas (view collaborators by researcher).

In the 2012 ERA exercise, the University of Tasmania was given a four ranking in the Law discipline to which the Centre for Law and Genetics contributed approximately 32% of publications and 72% of grant funding.

Inquiries for collaborations and research based higher degrees are welcome.