European Law and New Health Technologies

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University Belfast
Department Name: Sch of Law


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Description With the roles of risk, rights ethics and markets as our focus, and looking across the project it is possible to say there are a variety of relationships between European law (in its broad sense, conceived within a methodology influenced by multilevel governance approaches) and new health technologies (NHTs), as conceived by the contributors in the substantive chapters of the book to be published. Overall we can say that markets have a very important - perhaps the most important - role as being central, certainly to European Union engagement with NHTs, but given the centrality of markets, also to the way in which the rights, especially from the European Convention, relate to NHTs. Broadly speaking it appears that risk, rights, ethics and markets often overlap. Risk tends to operate as a key support for markets in that assurances of product safety help to maintain the consumption of NHTs. Rights and ethics might sometimes appear to act as countervailing forces to markets, but they also arguably help to legitimate and provide further assurances as to the quality and safety of NHTs. Right, rights, ethics and markets also work together to produce legitimacy for European law's engagement with NHTs. It seems that the operation of European law, and the dominance of markets, raises significant legitimacy concerns for notions of European (and national) citizenship, including 'biomedical citizenship'. Although traditional 'command and control' regulatory strategies play a strong role in the production, development and dissemination of NHTs, the project points to the importance of future legal scholarship paying attention also to the significant 'new governance' and policy contexts in which such 'hard law' takes effect. The project also indicates the importance of interdisciplinary methodologies - especially those bringing together insights from law, regulation theory and science and technology studies (STS) - to enrich understandings of the relationships between European law and NHTs. The main or core output is forthcoming: M. Flear, A.-M. Farrell, T. Hervey and T. Murphy, European Law and New Health Technologies (Oxford: OUP, Forthcoming 2013). The current outputs have been recorded on the Research Outcomes System.
Exploitation Route The project's impact should come in the future, through the publication of the edited collection (noted above) drawing together many of the papers presented and developed throughout the seminar series. This collection will appeal to those interested in the regulation of health, be they policy-makers, practitioners or academics (including on undergraduate medical law courses and postgraduate courses in at least seven EU Member States). The book will be a 'go to' volume for that audience, providing up-to-date scholarly information and reflective analysis of a salient policy domain. The readership will principally be within Europe, both at national level and within European institutions (including those we study, but also others such as WHO-Europe and the OECD) where those interested in medical law, the regulation of new technology, human rights law, the law of the European Union, patent law, constitutional law, socio-legal studies, interdisciplinary legal research and research methodology will find something of interest and importance.

There will also be a global audience. Non-European states increasingly consider the European approaches to complex and contested policy domains such as the regulation of new technologies when developing their own laws and policies.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology