Working Group on Legal, Ethical and Societal Implications of Genetics (LESIG)

LESIG Working Group was established by TAGC and its members, InLab, Goldsmiths, University of London, and the Institute for Law and Ethics at Tomsk State (National Research) University, Russia.

LESIG operates in the UK and Russia.

The Working Group aims to produce specialist proposals, through multidisciplinary work and international collaborations and exchange, for regulating genetic information.


Genetic findings come with great benefits for societies, including in medicine, education and justice. For these benefits to reach all people, updated regulation is essential.

Genetic findings also pose significant potential for misuse, mainly due to their resourcefulness in providing predictive information on individuals’ traits, such as health, intelligence and personality. Potential misuses include discrimination in access to health care, education and employment.  To minimise potential misuses, laws must be updated as soon as possible.

LESIG Working Group in The Russian Federation has commenced work since December 2017, and is operated in collaboration with Institute of Law and Ethics at Tomsk State University.  The Working Group is composed of law academics and practitioners, specialising on areas relevant to genomic science, including Crime, Sentencing, Human Rights, Data Protection, Privacy, Insurance and Employment. Read more…

LESIG Working Group in the UK has commenced work in March 2018. The Working Group is composed law academics and practitioners, specialising on a range of areas relevant to genomic science, including Data Protection, Cloud Computing, Privacy, Sentencing, Insurance, Crime, Human Rights and Minority Groups. Read more…

Current work

The Working Group is working in a number of areas, including genetic data protection/ privacy; genetic discrimination in insurance; population-based genetic discrimination; sentencing in the genomic era; human rights; children’s rights; and surveillance.

We are also conducting a study on genetic knowledge and attitudes of the justice system professionals. Read initial findings here.

In addition, we are conducting training on genetics to lawyers with an interest in the areas involved.

Collaborations and contributions

ORGANISATIONS: We welcome proposals for collaborations, including from research organisations, law organisations (e.g. law firms, chambers, law schools), policy institutions and interdisciplinary organisations.

INDIVIDUALS: If you are a lawyer, judge or geneticist with an interest in the areas covered by LESIG, we will be happy to hear from you.


Contact: Fatos Selita,