New York (February 20, 2002)-Judges, lawyers and scientists are challenged with complex and novel legal issues surrounding cutting-edge biotechnology research and development, and related health and patent issues. In response, the Honorable U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and others have called for an “ongoing conversation” among the federal judiciary, the private sector and other stakeholders regarding the impact of court decisions on the biotechnology industry and society.
To start that “conversation,” Carl B. Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) initiated The Biojudiciary Project in close collaboration with co-sponsor Ernst & Young LLP and its Litigation Advisory Services Practice, led by Michael P. Emmert. As an important first step, the Project is developing a new primer and resource of first resort for the federal judiciary: A Jurists’ Guide to 21st Century Biotechnology. The material will be housed on the project’s Web site, www.biojurist.org which will launch this spring. Project contributors also include Arnold & Porter, Ropes & Gray and the Foundation for Genetic Medicine, Inc.
“As Justice Breyer has noted, none of the current Supreme Court justices has a science background, and such knowledge and experience is scarce throughout the judiciary,” said Feldbaum. “The complexities of the science are indeed daunting, as are the complexities of the law governing it. Until now there was no resource to help legal professionals navigate those two landscapes simultaneously.”
Feldbaum is set to unveil the project and a preview of the Guide during a presentation at the annual BIO CEO & Investor Conference today at noon at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. This is the first in a series of planned projects and events under the auspices of The Biojudiciary Project.
The Jurists’ Guide will be geared toward helping judges, lawyers and others better understand technical and legal issues associated with biotechnology by providing an on-line primer that is useful, credible, objective and accessible. In addition, the Jurists’ Guide will include an up-to-date, peer-reviewed glossary of science and technology terms with appropriate policy notations.
According to Ernst & Young’s Biojudiciary Project Co-chair Leslie A. Platt, JD, “Ernst & Young is honored and excited about this important collaborative effort to help meet a growing need for the federal judiciary to have easy access to well-organized, peer-reviewed scientific and technical resources when deciding important biotechnology cases.”
To be notified when biojurist.org goes live and to receive updates about Biojurist Project events, register online at www.biojurist.org/emailme.asp.
BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. For more information, please visit our Web site, www.bio.org
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