Aurora Plomer, University of Bristol Law School, UK

Aurora Plomer joined the University of Bristol Law School in August 2016 from the University of Sheffield where she was Director of the Sheffield Institute of Biotechnology, Law and Ethics. She was previously a Reader in Law at the University of Nottingham and a Lecturer in Law at the University of Leeds. She graduated in Philosophy at of the University of Lancaster (BA, MA, PhD) and in Law at the University of  Manchester (LLB). Aurora teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses on Intellectual Property (LAWD2043, LAWDM0022),  International Intellectual Property and Human Rights (LAWD30114) and European Human Rights (LAWDM0120).  She leads the School’s Primary Research Unit on Law and Governance.

Professor Aurora Plomer’s research examines the balance of protection between IP rights, human rights and  the regulation of new biotechnologies. In 2006 she was the P.I. of a major project on moral exclusions on embryonic stem cell patents in the European Union. The project led  to numerous publications and a report published by the Commission highlighting the tensions between the EU moral exclusions on patents and regulatory controls on research in a pluralist Europe. The report called  for the EU policy on patents  to be developed consistently with the protection of human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. In 2014, she was a senior Fernand Braudel fellow at the European University Institute in Florence where she researched the history of patent harmonization in Europe leading to the creation of the Unified Patent Court.  Professor Plomer has also collaborated with European political and social scientists in Europe on a project which has led to an edited collection by Francois Foret and Orianne Calligaro:  European Values: Challenges and Opportunities    (Routledge, 2018).  Her chapter ‘The Duality of Human Dignity in Europe’ compares the ECHR with the EU charter of Fundamental Rights and argues that the elevation of human dignity to a stand-alone right in the EU Charter is problematic because it  eludes a stable legal meaning and moral content and  is  further exacerbated by the juxtaposition of  human rights values with market freedoms.