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The International Law of Biotechnology

Human Rights, Trade, Patents, Health and the Environment Matthias Herdegen, University of Bonn, Germany
Biotechnology is a field that inspires complex legal and ethical debates on an international scale. Taking a fresh approach to the subject, Matthias Herdegen provides a comprehensive assessment of the regulation of biotechnology processes and products from an international and comparative perspective.
Extent: 208 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978 1 78643 595 8
Availability: Not yet published
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  • Law - Academic
  • Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Law
  • Internet and Technology Law
Biotechnology is a field that inspires complex legal and ethical debates on an international scale. Taking a fresh approach to the subject, Matthias Herdegen provides a comprehensive assessment of the regulation of biotechnology processes and products from an international and comparative perspective.

Herdegen explores how regulatory approaches to controversial issues such as: stem cell research and cloning and gene therapy differ across jurisdictions due to conflicting values and risk perceptions. The book goes on to examine how international regulatory instruments aim to address these conflicting perspectives and provide judgments based on broad international consensus. Chapters explore the interaction between biotechnology and different fields of law including: human rights, intellectual property, trade law and environmental law. In doing so, a number of complex issues are raised such as the need to balance commercial interests with socio-cultural considerations and the need to ensure respect for human dignity in the pursuit of biomedical research.

Providing a concise and accessible guide to a complex field of international law, this book will be of great value to those researching the law and regulation of biotechnology, biomedicine and biodiversity both within the EU and on an international scale. The book will also be a useful resource for practicing lawyers as it includes sources from a diverse range of legal systems and analyses relevant decisions by international adjudicatory bodies.
‘Biotechnology will shape, together with information technology, much of the technological advances in the 21st Century. It affects all walks of life and bears potentials and risks. In international and European law, different areas of law touch upon it without much coherence. Written by a foremost expert, this book makes a most valuable contribution, expounding the interfaces of the different regulatory areas and offering a comprehensive and timely treatise on the subject.’
– Thomas Cottier, Chairman ILA Committee on the Biotechnology, UK

‘This book by Matthias Herdegen provides a unique, thoughtful and comprehensive discussion of the interaction between biotechnologies and international law. Unlike other books in the field, which tend to be confined to biomedical issues, this book covers a broad spectrum of topics, including questions related to environmental protection, risk assessment, genetically modified foods, international trade, and gene patenting. It combines theoretical reflection with the analysis of relevant international instruments and courts judgments.’
– Roberto Andorno, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Contents: 1. Introduction: Regulation of Biotechnology, between Anxieties and Trust in Scientific Progress 2. Law and Ethics: An Intriguing Interplay 3. Risks, Perceptions and the Law: Regulatory Approaches to Risk 4. The Biotech Challenge to Human Dignity, Life and Freedom of Choice: Human Rights 5. From Test Tube Babies to Human Clones: Salient Issues in the International Law of Biomedicine 6. GMOs, Crops and Precaution: Biotechnology and the International Protection of the Environment 7. Combating Biopiracy: Access to Genetic Resources 8. Phantom Risks and Legitimate Concerns: Biotechnology and International Trade Law 9. Inventor’s Claims to Life: Intellectual Property Rights and Biotechnological Inventions 10. Conclusion: Legal Values, Individual Rights and Democratic Choices in a Pluralist World Index