Faculty Pub Night Featuring Cesare Romano

All LMU students, faculty, and staff and community guests are invited to join us on January 22, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. for our fifth Faculty Pub Night of the 2018-2019 season, featuring Cesare Romano, Professor of Law at the Loyola Law School. Romano will discuss his upcoming publication, Human Germline Modification and the Right to Science. This free talk will talk place in the library’s Von der Ahe Family Suite (level 3). Pub refreshments and snacks will be served courtesy of the William H. Hannon Library.

Please RSVP for this Event

About the Author’s Work

In 2012, the discovery of the CRISPR/Cas9 technique revolutionized biotechnology. CRISPR makes it easier to “turn off” genes one at a time, to see what they do. It can introduce specific mutations, to find out why they make cells cancerous or predispose people to diseases. It can be used to potentially eliminate any genetic disease in humans and animals.

Since the discovery of CRISPR, innovation has moved at a breathtaking-pace, revolutionizing biomedical research. However, like any scientific discovery, there are some potential downsides and controversial applications.

As it often happens with disruptive technological breakthroughs, states are struggling to keep up with developments and to regulate research and applications. The result is a patchwork of national legislations. Some states have equipped themselves with sophisticated legislation and regulatory bodies to ensure research can advance but within acceptable limits. Others have instead opted to restrict as much as possible research and applications to ward off any dangers, actual or putative. Many have not yet adopted any national legislation and are waiting to see in which direction most states are going.

At the international level, bar a few regional instruments, there are not yet clear and global standard regulating germline editing. However, international human rights standards, as codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights do provide the four corners within which any future international regulation will have to be placed.

The aim of Human Germline Modification and the Right to Science is two-fold. First, it maps national legislation of 17 states to identify patterns and trends. The mapping exercise is not only descriptive but also normative, to the extent that it allows to identify best practices and guide states that are still in the process to write their national legislation. Second, it connects national legislation to the core international obligations all states have as a matter of international human rights law. In particular, it puts at the center of the discussion the so-called “right to science”.

About the Author 

Romano’s expertise is in public international law, and in particular international human rights and international courts and tribunals. Between 1996 and 2006, he created, developed and managed the “Project on International Courts and Tribunals,” a joint undertaking of the Center on International Cooperation, New York University, and the Centre for International Courts and Tribunals at University College London, becoming a world-renown authority in the field.

In 2011, he founded the International Human Rights Clinic at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Since then, he has led his students in the litigation of dozens of cases before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and specialized United Nations human rights bodies (e.g., the Human Rights Committee; the Committee of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; the Committee of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights); preparation of/amici curiae/briefs for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and several domestic courts; preparation shadow reports for the United Nations Universal Periodic Review and the periodic reports on the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Romano is founding member of Science for Democracy, a global NGO to promote evidence-based decision-making processes and data-driven policies, fundamental human rights and democracy. He is also one of the organizers of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research.

About Faculty Pub Night 

Students, staff, faculty, alumni, and any members of the public are all invited to the 2018-2019 series of Faculty Pub Night at the William H. Hannon Library. Eight LMU professors (four per semester) are selected annually to discuss their latest publication or project in a comfortable setting and format that welcomes diverse perspectives for an inclusive conversation aimed to educate the entire community. All Faculty Pub Nights are free and open to the public. Pub refreshments and snacks will be served courtesy of the William H. Hannon Library.

For more information about this event, contact John Jackson, Head of Outreach & Communications for the William H. Hannon Library, at (310) 338-5234 or john.jackson@lmu.edu.