Melbourne Law School - Theses

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    The regulation of research involving human embryos and cloning in the United Kingdom and Australia
    Allan, Sonia Marie ( 2009)
    This thesis analyses the nature, rationale, and implementation of United Kingdom and Australian regulation of research involving human embryos and cloning using legal materials, other documents and qualitative interviews with researchers, practitioners and regulators. It considers how law-makers have decided upon what to regulate and where to draw the line between permissible and prohibited activities, and the type of regulatory design strategies and enforcement approaches adopted in each jurisdiction (the ‘how to regulate’ question). It is argued that both jurisdictions have effectively decided upon permissible and prohibited activities as a result of thorough public consultation, research, reviews and the parliamentary process, and have appropriately balanced competing rationales for regulation. However, the type of regulation used in relation to those who are licensed to research in this area is unsuitable due to an over-emphasis on deterrence and the authoritarian approach taken by the regulatory bureaucracies. The central thesis is that a responsive regulatory system for licence-holders should be adopted. It is proposed that such a system would maintain the top level ‘command and control’ design strategies and deterrence approaches present in the current regulatory systems for breaches of legislation by non-licence holders and serious breaches by licence holders. However, greater use of co-regulatory design strategies and cooperative, educative and persuasive enforcement approaches should be used for regulating licensed research activities.