Assessing the Impact of a 'For Government' Review on the Nanotechnology Regulatory Landscape
(2012) 38(3) Monash University Law Review 168-212
45 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2013 Last revised: 14 Jul 2013
Date Written: 2013
A number of jurisdictions have now completed reviews of the regulatory issues raised by nanotechnologies. Chronologically, these reviews have moved from treating nanotechnologies as a narrow matter of chemical regulation to a broader perspective that considers both the technology’s impact on end-products, such as foods and cosmetics, as well as the end-of-life issues raised by such products. While the exact nature and focus of these reviews have varied, there is increasing specific city in their analysis and outcomes.
Australia was one of the first jurisdictions to initiate a wide-ranging and independent review of its regulatory frameworks to deal with the potential human and environmental health and safety risks posed by nanotechnologies. It has been five years since the report was handed to the Australian Government. The aim of this article is to critically assess the impact of the regulatory review on the federal government’s policy on nanotechnologies. In doing so, this article outlines regulatory developments that have occurred since the report’s publication. Particular attention is given to examining the activities that have occurred within the regulatory agencies identified within the report. The broader policy and regulatory landscape for nanotechnologies in Australia is also considered.
This article is both timely and relevant due to current efforts by other jurisdictions to complete their own regulatory reviews. It articulates the impact of one regulatory review on policy developments within Australia, and discusses possible reasons for the domestic responses to that review.
JEL Classification: K23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation