International Journal of Rural Law and Policy
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1839-745X
Published by University of Technology Sydney [7 journals]
- Cultural Stewardship Accountability of Seed Bank Institutions for
Authors: Mark L Shepheard
Abstract: A growing emphasis among seed banks in Australia and globally is the collection of seed and information associated with wild crop relatives of food and fodder crops. This is part of scientific efforts to store and document plant traits that may prove useful to deal with risks to food and bio security in the face of global climate changes. This has implications for indigenous communities because of the risk that indigenous knowledge may be collected and included as ‘data’ rather than as knowledge with significant cultural tethering. This articl provides a theoretical context for institutional seed banks to engage with indigenous people and specify indigenous knowledge stewardship accountability. This should help seed banks to operate with sensitivity to cultural wellbeing and minimise the risks from failure to satisfy accountability for indigenous knowledge stewardship. The article identifies four interrelated dimensions of indigenous knowledge stewardship, and identifies a tentative process for institutions to adapt this to indigenous knowledge stewardship strategy and practice. The process for realising indigenous knowledge stewardship accountability is the subject of further research.
- Distance is no hurdle: Reforming the family violence exception to better
protect immigrant women in rural, regional and remote communities
Authors: Khanh Hoang
Abstract: This article considers the impact of migration laws on immigrant women in rural, regional and remote communities (RRR communities) who are victims of family violence. The Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) (‘the Regulations’) includes a ‘family violence exception’ that allows for the grant of permanent residency to women who hold a temporary partner visa in circumstances where the relationship with the Australian sponsor has broken down due to family violence. However, the Regulations impose strict procedural and evidentiary requirements for making a family violence claim. These laws disproportionately impact those in RRR communities by failing to account for their isolation, lack of access to services and particular vulnerabilities. As a result, immigrant women in RRR communities are restricted in their ability to access the family violence exception.This article calls for reform of the Regulations to address the locational disadvantages faced by immigrant women in RRR communities. Building on the work of the Australian Law Reform Commission, it argues for the repeal of the provisions governing evidentiary requirements for ‘non-judicially determined’ claims of family violence. In its place, it is suggested that there should be no restrictions on the types of evidence that can be provided. In addition, all non-judicially determined family violence claims would be referred to an ‘independent expert panel’ for assessment. The independent expert panel should include, at a minimum, a number of community legal centres (CLCs) and family violence centres (FVCs) around Australia. CLCs and FVCs are leveraging technology — such as Skype and teleconferencing — and integrated service responses to provide access to justice to those in RRR communities.
- Safeguarding seeds and Maori intellectual property through partnership
Authors: Sue Scheeles
Abstract: The Nagoya Protocol is a recent binding international instrument that articulates the need to recognise the rights of indigenous peoples regarding their biological resources and cultural knowledge and strengthens the mechanisms to do so. New Zealand has not signed this protocol because of the overriding importance of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand’s domestic affairs, and the need to ensure that government options are not limited concerning the development of domestic policy on access to biological resources. In particular, policy makers and legislators are waiting for the government response to a 2011 Waitangi Tribunal report (Ko Aotearoa Tēnei) on a far-reaching and complex claim (WAI 262) concerning the place of Māori traditional knowledge, culture and identity in contemporary New Zealand law and government policies and practice. Especially pertinent to this paper is the report’s section on Māori rights relating to biological and genetic resources. In accordance with the recommendation within Ko Aotearoa Tēnei, the principle of partnership, built on the explicit Treaty premise of Crown and Māori as formal equals, is presented here as the overarching framework and mechanism by which government agencies and Māori can work together to safeguard such resources. Core concepts and values are elucidated that underpin the Māori relationship to indigenous flora and fauna and are integral to the protection of cultural knowledge of seeds and plants. Examples are given of plant species regarded as taonga (treasures) and how they are conserved, and a case study is presented of institutional stewardship of harakeke (New Zealand flax) weaving varieties. Seed bank facilities are also evaluated regarding their incorporation of Māori values and rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.