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Title: The legal regulation of gene drive technologies
Author: Elves, Charlotte
ISNI:       0000 0005 0292 1273
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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Gene drive technologies purport to provide a panacea and yet in doing so present unprecedented risks that threaten to change, potentially irreversibly, the way in which we live in the world. Gene drive technologies raise questions about what ends societies ought to seek for their citizens, how they are constituted and how those ends might be attained. Despite this, current discussions surrounding gene drive technologies and their regulation focus almost exclusively on the technical implications. Drawing on the work of sociologists and STS scholars, this thesis argues that lawyers ought to think critically about the ways in which they go about developing their understandings of new technologies as regulatory objects. Lawyers need to evaluate and scrutinize the knowledge claims with which they are presented, and work to identify those extending beyond the required technical expertise, if the regulatory frames they build are to bear fidelity to the realities of the technology. This thesis draws out the regulatory disconnection generated by the current regulation of gene drive technologies through the existing European Union GMO regime. It then goes on to describe the ways in which regulatory reconnection might be achieved by constructing broader frames through which we describe gene drive technologies as a regulatory object. In thinking about how lawyers might go about broadening the frames that they build, this thesis takes examples from Public Health Law scholarship and legislation. In response to both the normative and epistemic lacunae highlighted above, this thesis develops an account of why and how ethical enquiry ought to play a significant role in informing our descriptions of gene drive technologies as regulatory objects. Furthermore, this thesis argues that ethical enquiry is capable of articulating questions to which technical experts must provide answers if we are to develop fuller understandings of the technologies we regulate. In this way, ethical enquiry can help lawyers bridge both the normative and epistemic gaps that they are so often faced with in the regulation of emerging technologies.
Supervisor: Fisher, Elizabeth ; Herring, Jonathan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available