This article will briefly examine this dynamic across three interconnected dimensions: (1) flexibility and innovation in IEL agreement models, with a focus on trade agreements, that better integrate economic and social development goals and allow parties to adapt to new circumstances or phase in commitments on a more incremental basis; (2) flexibility in implementation of trade disciplines and agreements; and (3) legal and regulatory innovation that can both define and flow from IEL agreements. These three dimensions take into account both treaties themselves and how they relate to changes in law and regulation in practice, drawing a link between international agreements and their operation that is particularly important in times of change or uncertainty. In assessing dimension three, legal and regulatory innovation, which has been a focus of my work over the past decade,
Traditional medicines have an equally important role as vaccines, therapeutics and medical devices protected through classical IPRs such as patents. For this reason, it is important to include traditional medicines within the scope of IPR protection, including within the WTO’s TRIPS Agreement. Doing so would go beyond the classical debate of protecting medicines, vaccines and therapeutics mainly through patents as currently understood within the TRIPS Agreement.
Finally, we have seen a surge in climate activism, especially from children and young adults, especially after Greta Thunberg launched the Fridays for Future (FFF) Movement in August 2018. FFF is a global movement that seeks to ‘put moral pressure on policymakers, to make them listen to the scientists, and then to take forceful action to limit global warming.’
In this post, I argue that the 1991 UPOV Convention, which is the only UPOV Convention open for accession, is unsuited to Nigeria, principally because it provides a closed plant breeders rights system that favours (commercial) plant breeders, to the detriment of small scale farmers. Nigeria has over 70 per cent small scale farmers that stand to be side-lined by a UPOV-styled system. Accordingly, I urge the Nigerian Government to cease, or at the least delay, the ongoing legislative process.
TWAIL scholarship share three central themes. First, it engages in historical analysis to disinter partial narratives of international law. Second, the historical analysis exposes avenues through which particular aspects of international law are unjust to everyday realities of Third World peoples. Third, some TWAIL scholarship attempt to reform or transform unjust international law to suit the needs and realities of Third World peoples.
This commentary considers the access to food component of the draft UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts (Guide) and voices its silence on intellectual property rights (IPRs). In the past decade, foreign investors have increased the number of investments in the long-term lease of arable land, especially in Africa, and in the Global South, generally. The reasons for the choice of these locations include the availability of large portions of inexpensive agricultural land, inexpensive local labour and favourable climatic conditions for crop production. The Guide proposes more responsible investments in agriculture from public and private sector investors as a way to achieve, inter alia ‘No Poverty’ and ‘Zero Hunger’ (Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2).
Given the central relevance of TK to African countries, it is necessary to design effective mechanisms for its protection. One key rising trend in TK lawmaking is its incorporation in bilateral and free trade agreements.
While it may not be explicitly evident, several statutory tools are available to plant breeders to facilitate the protection of their creations in the market. The primary tool remains plant breeders’ rights (PBRs). An examination of legislation available in Kenya illuminates other mechanisms as well, these being seed certification requirements and anti-counterfeiting legislation.
Dr. Susan Isiko Štrba combines teaching and research with providing policy and legislative advice and technical training to governments, intergovernmental organisations and NGOs. She focuses mainly on intellectual property, trade and development.