Law in the emerging bio-age

We’re exploring the impact of biotechnology, damage to the global ecosystem and the rights of non-humans. In our latest horizon scanning report, we raise the question of how humans can be better ancestors to future generations of all species and what that would mean for legal ethics.
cell held by a pipet and a needle

The evolving relationship between humans and living systems will provoke new opportunities and risks that demand oversight and new regulations.

This will bring different contractual obligations, new alliances and conflicts, as the rights of different human communities and natural systems are challenged.

The legal profession is already being affected by these emerging changes.

The ‘bio-’ will undoubtedly be at the core of numerous innovations and ‘solutions’ that reach society by 2050.

Along with these innovations come questions of intellectual property and ownership, liability, bias, harm and rights.

These in turn raise critical questions for policy, regulation, law and the legal profession.

What’s in the report?

The report asks questions including:

  • how can legal structures support second chances at improving human relations with living systems and our planet?
  • how can law support the evolution of ethics in respect of evolving human understanding and capacity to manipulate living systems?
  • what will granting rights to non-human life forms do?
  • how do we make legal frameworks fit for the future?
  • what does a lawyer for the bio age look like?

Get the conversation started

We encourage readers to debate our ideas and as a key first step beyond this report, we include a conversation guide and questions.

The report itself is also accompanied by a series of ‘postcards from the future’ to:

  • help direct conversations around the topics and themes in the report findings, and
  • assist readers to imagine their own place and influence in the bio age

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