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Australian academics round on ACTA

A group of Australian academics has told a key parliamentary committee why they believe Australia should reconsider ratifying the controversial anti-counterfeiting treaty ACTA.

Law academics Kimberlee Weatherall of the University of Sydney and Matthew Rimmer from the Australian National University, and Hazel Moir of the Australian National University’s Centre for Policy Innovation spoke today at a public hearing into ACTA organised by the Federal Parliament’s Treaties Committee.

Rimmer told the hearing that he believed ACTA fails to provide safeguards in respect of human rights, consumer protection, competition, and privacy laws while Weatherall criticised the way the deal was negotiated and said that rights given to IP owners under ACTA had not been balanced by user rights of access.

Committee chair, Kelvin Thomson MP, said it was holding a second public hearing so the committee can gather as much information and perspectives as possible, given that ACTA has inspired such a level of protest.

“The committee understands that this is a controversial treaty nationally and internationally and is interested in hearing all points of view”, he said.

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