Cloning International Law: The Science and Science Fiction of Human Cloning and Stem-Cell Patenting
32 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2014
Date Written: January 1, 2014
The article offers a critical appraisal of the rise of international governance in the field of genetics and reproductive technologies as “legal cloning”. It critically explores two of the dominant approaches to the homogenization of international law: the instrumentalist approach promoted by legal realists (law and science) and the deterministic approach advanced by legal surrealists (law and science fiction). As an alternative to both, the paper offers an account of bio-technology’s modus operandi, and its power to “clone”, namely, to reduce human diversity – whether genetic, moral, or legal – not to identity but to a controlled and standardized uniformity. By examining three case studies of international law and transnational law – the UN declaration on human cloning, the recent restriction of the patenting of human embryonic stem cell research by the CJEU – along with Aldous Huxley’s classic novel Brave New World, the paper unveils three different ways in which cloning operates in international law: international law versus cloning, international law as cloning, and the cloning of international law.
Keywords: Science fiction, biotechnology, cloning, gene patenting, international law, transnational law, human genome
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