Legal, Ethical and Societal Implications of Genetics
TAGC Law and Ethics works towards addressing legal and ethical implications of Genetic/genomic findings for societies. Genetic findings come with enormous benefits for societies, if use of genetic information is regulated. This is particularly important due to the amount of information we can now extract from an individual’s genetic data; the unavoidable data breaches and the numerous possible misuses of genetic information. This makes necessary regulating use of genetic information.
ERASMUS+ grant, focusing on LESIG work
A 2-year grant, enabling cross-disciplinary and international research, as well as mobility of over 30 staff and students between TSU in Russia and Goldsmiths, University of London was received for 2018-2020.
Legislative and policy updates
Laws in place do not provide sufficient protection for people. The need for specific laws is particularly urgent considering the extent of information that can be extracted from genetic data, the permanent nature of genetic data; the large genetic data pools; and the regular data breaches. Legal regulation is also essential for benefits of genetic science to reach all people.
To respond to this issue, TAGC, in collaboration with its members, have set up the Working Group on Legal, Ethical and Societal Implications of Genetics (LESIG), which operates in the UK and Russia.
TAGC brings together efforts from lawyers, geneticists, media and policy makers.
Due to the global of genetic research and the unique nature of genomic data – TAGC works with partners internationally, including InLab, Goldsmiths, University of London, and the Institute of Law and Ethics at the International Centre for Research on Human Development, Tomsk State University.
TAGC provides training and expert Opinions on matters legal matters; disseminates knowledge; reviews law and its application in practice; reviews ethical guidelines; and makes proposals for policy and legislative updates. Read more…
‘International Seminar: Emerging and Contemporary Issues in Legal
Udayana University School of Law, Bali, Indonesia
LESIG Co-ordinator, Fatos Selita, addressed the impact of genetic advancements on human rights. The talk covered key genetic findings on human traits and addressed implications for human rights. Read more
Judges’ Training Conference, UK
‘Neural and Psychological Processes in Decision Making’
Head of TAGC Law & Ethics and LESIG Co-ordinator, Fatos Selita, was an invited speaker at the Judges’ Training Conference 2018. The talk was attended by over 100 judges from UK Tribunals and Courts. The talk ‘Neural and Psychological Processes in Decision Making’ covered how human mind is influenced, how these influences affect decision-making, and how to protect from influences (both external and internal) – how to outsmart human mind weaknesses. The talk included:
- Powerful vs. powerless language
- A number of psychological processes such as Fundamental Attribution Error
- Consciousness in decision-making
- The extent human mind can update incorrect information (e.g fake news) with correct ones
- Influences and litigants in person (unrepresented litigants)
- Pathways of influences into human mind
- Undoing penetrated influences
- Individual differences in traits
- Impact of genes and environment on traits
- Distribution of traits
- Gene-environment processes
- Mental health, and impact on decision-making
- Detecting lies
- Mechanism of dishonesty
Training of the senior judiciary, UK
‘Human Memory, Witnesses and Decision Making’
- The mechanism of dishonesty
- How to know a lie from the truth
- Origin of traits
- Origin of individual differences and
- How these affect decision-making.
Head of TAGC Law & Ethics and LESIG Co-ordinator, Fatos Selita, delivered training to the UK judiciary on Human Memory, Witnesses and Decision Making. The training was attended by a range of judges, including High Court, Criminal Court, and Court of Appeal. The training covered a number of important aspects of decision-making, including:
- Reliability of memory and how memory is influenced and altered;
- Mind weaknesses and mind bugs affecting decision-making (e.g. selective attention, fundamental attribution error, biases)
- Suggestion (e.g. in police interviewing, lineups, advocacy)
- Impact of questioning on memory on evidence
- Lie detecting
The paper: Genetic data misuse: risk to fundamental human rights in developed economies, published in Legal Issues Journal, explains how fundamental human rights are now under serious threat from misuse of genetic data – the ‘gold mines’ of the 21st century. The paper outlines a number of steps that can be takento minimise harm and increase benefits for all people. Read more…
Collaborations and contact
Contact: Fatos Selita, email@example.com
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 on legal implications of genomic findings, we will be happy to hear from you.
Key partner on LESIG work
ILE brings together Lawyers, Scientists and Policymakers to work on legal and ethical implications of genetics, including updating laws to protect individuals and ensure fair use of genetic findings.
ILE also provides professional training, consultation, reports and expert opinions in matters related to legal and ethical implications of genetics.
The Institute collaborates with international partners, including in the UK, USA, China and Canada.