The Institute works towards lawful and ethical use of genomic findings to benefit all people.  To achieve this aim, it focuses on:

Training

The Institute provides training on legal, ethical and societal issues related to genetic science. This training is available to research institutions and private companies, and it is free for public funded research institutions and schools.

The fast scientific progress in this area is a unique opportunity for societies. Genomics has the potential to improve health care, education and quality of life in general. To achieve this, knowledge of ethical, legal and societal implications is essential, and therefore training in these areas. For more information or to book training, feel free to contact us.

Expert opinions on matters legal matters

The Institute provides opinions on technical legal issues related to genetic findings. The includes confirmation of the latest findings on genomics and how it translates to a particular issue or at an individual level. This includes issues of legal liability and sentencing; discrimination; and gene editing.

Knowledge dissemination

Disseminating knowledge on the current and prospective legal issues, ethical guidelines and societal implications, is an important part of the Institute’s work. This is achieved through talks, lectures, events and publications.

Knowing about current protections in place is important to protecting individuals’ rights and science development. Knowing about future implications is essential to preparing for the future in time.

Reviewing law & practice

Areas of law closely interrelated to genomic findings include data protection and privacy, commercialisation of findings (intellectual property), criminal law and discrimination (employment, insurance, race and education).

Genetic science has advanced rapidly in the last 20 years, but there have been little to no effective legislative and policy updates in this area. There are no established legal practices either. As a result, reviewing laws and policy in place, and developments in practice, is essential to enable the required updates.

Reviewing ethical guidelines

Regardless of the legal protection in place, Ethical Guidelines are important because they are easier to follow, provide wider coverage than laws, and because not all that is legal is ethical. At this stage when laws and policy related to genomic science are not developed Ethical Guidelines are of vital importance.

We review ethical guidelines for research institutions, schools and private organisations on request. We also draft guidelines on request.

Proposals for policy and legislative updates

Proposals for policy and legislative updates are prepared through the joint efforts of lawyers and scientists to make possible beneficial use of genomic findings, provide strong protection for individuals and promote scientific progress.

Areas requiring attention for the protection of individuals and science development include data protection, discrimination (employment, insurance, intelligence etc.), gene therapy and editing, and access to genome-based personalised health care and education.