THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH
DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2007/2008
Biotechnology, Law & Society (Distance Learning) (P02270)
This course examines the role played by law in the regulation of biotechnology. The course draws out two central problems relating to the use of law in this dynamic field. First, it is often difficult for regulators to keep pace with rapid advances in biotechnology and the life sciences. This means that existing legal concepts and regulatory frameworks can soon appear outmoded and inadequate. Second, in an age of moral pluralism, it can be difficult for stakeholders to secure social consensus on how new biotechnologies should be controlled and exploited. As a result, the regulation of biotechnology has often been a site of sharp political disagreement. This module examines how these fundamental tensions are mediated within the legal and regulatory structures governing biotechnology at both the national and international levels.
? This course is not available to visiting students.
? Costs : Students should have regular and reliable access to the Internet. Print consumables (paper and ink) would be recommended to provide hard copy of some on screen text and materials (e.g. articles).
? Normal year taken : Postgraduate
? Contact Teaching Time : 2 hour(s) per week for 10 weeks
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
The aims of this module are to:
- Consider the nature of biotechnology as a technological, economic, political and social endeavour;
- Explore the role played by the law in resolving political and ethical disagreements pertaining to the regulation of biotechnology;
- Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of various legal interventions in biotechnology and the life sciences.
By the end of this course the student should be able to:
- Appreciate the range of competing considerations and interests at play in the regulation of biotechnology;
- Be able to formulate well-reasoned and coherent arguments relating to biotechnology law;
- Show a solid understanding of current national, regional and international regimes for the control of biotechnology, and where appropriate suggest reforms thereof.
One Essay, 5000 words (60%); two pieces of assessed work (20% each)
Note: Completion of the Certificate, the Diploma and progression through the LLM programme will be subject to participation in and completion of core activities within this module.
Contact and Further Information