Human Rights and Emerging Technologies

Human Rights and Emerging Technologies

Analysis and Perspectives in Europe

by Daniele Ruggiu

510 pages, 153.00 x 229.00 mm, 4 B/W

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9789814774932
  • Published: June 2018

  • eBook - PDF
  • ISBN: 9780429490590

How is the current European governance on new and emerging technologies, and where is it going? What is, and what can be, the role of human rights in governance arrangements? These are the main questions that this book tries to answer for both European and non-European scholars. It provides a wide picture of the current European governance, notably in biotechnology, nanotechnology and synthetic biology, and discusses the model of Responsible Research and Innovation, which is rising within the European Union, under a human rights perspective. It shows how human rights can contribute to governance frameworks without posing obstacles to research and innovation.
The theory presented in the book is followed by practical guidelines drawn from the human rights law. Starting from the Strasbourg Court jurisprudence, it provides a complete review of the wide range of rights that the European Convention on Human Rights protects in light of the challenges of techno-scientific advances. This analysis will come in handy for private actors, policymakers, regulators, as well as judges in solving difficult cases raised by techno-scientific progress in the future.

The book provides a reconstruction of the current governance arrangements existing within in some key fields in Europe such as biotechnology, nanotecnologies and synthetic biology. A large amount of documents (EU laws, recommendations, other soft law instruments, official reports of committees and EU agencies etc.) has been analysed in order to understand where the EU regulation is going with regard to biotechnology, nanotechnologies and synthetic biology. As regards the latter, notably, this analysis is made in comparison with the international framework as well as that of the US. This provides a reliable picture of the on-going European governance in these fields, useful for scholars both European and non-European to understand which direction European Union is about to take. 

The book provides an original analysis of the rising model of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) by showing how it is possible to embed human rights as a governance tool in order to tackle challenges of new and emerging technologies in an overall framework of responsibility. The literature on RRI is becoming extremely varied and complex and it needs a key for understanding how European Union is construing future governance of new and emerging technologies and which role individual rights are playing and can play in this framework in the future. The book means to provide a model of RRI understandable for scholars both European and non-European. 
Following the main handbooks on the European human rights law such as Jacobs, White & Ovey 2002, the book includes an extended review of rights the European Convention on Human Rights protects in front of the challenges of the techno-scientific advance. For example, human dignity with regard to human genetic modification; the right to health in the context of the development of nanotechnologies; the right to bodily integrity vis-à-vis human enhancement technologies; the right to a healthy environment related to geoengineering; privacy in the workplace with regard to Artificial Intelligence systems; freedom of scientific research and epidemiological integrated studies of culture and population health. Which rules, and principles can we derive with regard to privacy and AI applications? Which limits and possibilities are for research in human genetic modification within the European context? Which possibilities are for human enhancement technologies? This makes this book also a practical tool for private actors, policy-makers, regulators, as well as judges in solving hard cases raised by the techno-scientific progress in the future.
The book includes a table of legislation related to the European context which covers instruments of hard and soft law of the two main institutions existing in Europe (EU and the Council of Europe) with a special focus on the fields biotechnology, nanotecnologies and synthetic biology. This also refers to the jurisdiction of the two main European courts: European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.