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Examining the bio-legal implications and social-political impact of biotechnology: with advances in bioscience come entire new methods, paradigmatic shifts in human self-understanding or modes of production, for which law often does not yet have sufficient knowledge to regulate, support or prohibit. Yet the law creates the landscape in which that research is conducted.

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Competitive advantage

  • Established the UNSW Law Initiative for Biolegality, focused on the co-constitution and circularity between law and the biosciences.


  • The aim of the UNSW Law Initiative for Biolegality is to set up a dialogue between bioscientists and legal scholars to examine the bio-legal implications and social-political impact of biotechnology in the 21st century.

Successful outcomes

  • A new Book Series Biolegality / Palgrave MacMillan (ongoing)
  • An edited book Personhood in the Age of Biolegality/ Palgrave MacMillan (2019)
  • A monograph Biolegality: A Critical Intervention / Palgrave MacMillan (forthcoming 2020)

Capabilities and facilities

  • Law
  • Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation
  • The Kirby Institute
  • All biosciences and biotechnological fields are represented but in particular reproductive technologies, neuroscience, personalised medicine, human and plant genetics, forensic sciences
  • Topics are, among others, the legal status and implications of genetic engineering, human DNA, mitochondrial replacement technology, personalized medicine, CRISPR- Cas9, genetic population research, biosecurity, GMO, LMO, and the bio-legal politics of pate