Justice in the genomic and digital era:
 a ‘different world’ requiring ‘different law’

Authors: Fatos Selita Published date: 26-01-2020 Status: Published

SUMMARY. Discoveries in the last two decades have created a ‘different world’, which requires ‘different’ laws. They have created a world where: enormous information on people’s past, present and future can be extracted from DNA alone; the DNA of millions of people has already been sequenced; the cost of sequencing is around 30 million times less than in 2003; additional detailed personal information is collected from numerous sources, such as mobile phones, hospitals, bank cards; this information is shared internationally among numerous powerful private and State organisations; and use of this information can be highly profitable for these organisations. Under these conditions, current law is unable to fully protect rights such as that of data protection, privacy, a fair trial, and non-discrimination on genetics and other basis – rights valued by societies. For the law to serve its key purpose, it now must adapt (evolve) to this fast and fundamental change in the ‘environment’. In relation to protection from data misuses, as privacy (genetic and other) is not possible, laws are required which can minimise negative impact of data misuses. Key stakeholders (e.g. judges, policymakers) would need to understand how genes work and how genetic information is used in order to appreciate the urgency of updating laws and to build effective protection.

Get access

Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Fatos Selita: fatos.selita@gold.ac.uk


COPYRIGHT: © The UK Law and Society Association