Conference: Make Do or Amend – Should We Update UK Fertility & Embryo Law?

28 October 2018

MAKE DO OR AMEND: SHOULD WE UPDATE UK FERTILITY AND EMBRYO LAW?‘ is a one-day conference taking place in London on Wednesday 5 December 2018 (9.30am5.30pm).  

The conference will explore law and regulation governing fertility treatment and embryo research. There will be Keynote Addresses by SIR JAMES MUNBY (former President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales) and SALLY CHESHIRE (Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority).

Other confirmed speakers and chairs include DR ROY FARQUHARSON (Chair of ESHRE), DR KATHY NIAKAN (Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute and the first researcher licensed by the UK regulator to edit the genomes of human embryos), BARONESS RUTH DEECH (Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords), DR ANDY GREENFIELD (Programme Leader at MRC Harwell), EMILY JACKSON (Professor of Law at the LSE), BARBARA CONNOLLY QC (Barrister), PROFESSOR CHRISTIAN DE GEYTER (Chair of ESHRE‘s European IVF Monitoring Steering Committee), PROFESSOR ELLIE LEE (Director of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies), NATALIE GAMBLE (Founder of Natalie Gamble Associates and Brilliant Beginnings), JAMES LAWFORD DAVIES (Partner at Hempsons), SATU RAUTAKALLIO-HOKKANEN (Chair of Fertility Europe), ERIKA TRANFIELD (Director of Pride Angel), DR ROGER HIGHFIELD (Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum Group), DR KYLIE BALDWIN (Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University), PROFESSOR ROBERT SPACZYNSKI (Vice President of the Polish Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians), FIONA FOX (Chair of Trustees at PET [Progress Educational Trust] and Chief Executive of the Science Media Centre), and SARAH NORCROSS (Director of PET).

The conference is supported by the Anne McLaren Memorial Trust Fund, the Edwards and Steptoe Research Trust Fund and ESHRE (silver sponsors), and by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, the European Sperm Bank, JMW Solicitors, the London Women’s Clinic and Vitrolife (bronze sponsors).

Further details of the conference, including the agenda and how to book your place, can be found at http://www.progress.org.uk/conference2018 – if you have any queries, please email sstarr [at] progress.org.uk

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Job: Chair of Medical Jurisprudence at Edinburgh University

12 October 2018

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Applications are invited from world-leading scholars in the field of medical law and ethics for the Chair of Medical Jurisprudence, which becomes vacant on 1 September 2019.

The first UK chair in medical jurisprudence was established at Edinburgh University in 1807, initially in the Faculty of Law and then the Faculty of Medicine, returning to the School of Law in 2005. Its (re)establishment in Edinburgh Law School marked a commitment to research and teaching excellence in this field, and signalled the objective to secure Edinburgh’s position as one of the leading centres for medical law and ethics in the United Kingdom and beyond.

The University seeks to appoint a scholar working in any area of medical law and from any jurisdiction. As well as providing research leadership in and beyond the Medical Law and Ethics Subject Area, she or he will contribute to postgraduate LLM teaching on both on-campus and online programmes, undergraduate courses, and the supervision of research students.

The successful candidate will be expected to take up the appointment from September 2019.

Closing date: Friday 1st February 2019, 5pm (GMT).

Salary: within the Professorial scale.

Informal enquiries may be made to the Head of School, Professor Martin Hogg (HoS.Law [at] ed.ac.uk)


Conference: REGULATING THE TYRELL CORPORATION: COMPANY LAW AND THE EMERGENCE OF NOVEL BEINGS

8 October 2018

Thursday 25th October 2018, 10:00-17:00

Friday 26th October 2018, 9.30-17:00 with drinks and canapés from 17:00 till 19:00

Venue: Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE

Advances in synthetic genetic technologies and artificial intelligence research promise the emergence of new forms of life, some of which may be conscious and will thus pose entirely new challenges for the law. Their advent may require a re-evaluation of Homo sapiens’ legal and social primacy; and will pose disruptive global challenges for society and the law as regards the moral status of these beings, their protections, their freedoms, their obligations, and our own towards them. It seems likely that these technologies will be the product of public companies and in particular multinational corporations, and we may find ourselves facing the cyberpunk future represented by Blade Runner’s Tyrell Corporation. Dr Lawrence and Dr Morley have received funding from the Wellcome Trust to conduct a project of research into this area, with a specific focus on how we might control companies’ development of these beings via regulation. A new network of expertise has been created through a number of events prior to this conference, considering these future technological developments and beginning to suggest practical legal definitions for the status of both conscious and unconscious novel beings. A future goal for this group is to assist in developing proposals for appropriate regulation for the responsible development, operation, and disposal of the technologies. A roundtable (January 2018) comprising renowned experts in ethics and law- including Professors John Harris and Chris Reed, and Drs Sarah Chan and Ruth Stirton- formed the nucleus of this network and set the agenda for our research. The first symposium (held in April 2018) considered the interplay between consciousness, responsibility, and liability, and attempted to provide a basis for developing workable legal definitions of consciousness that may be applicable in many fields of law – which will be essential for assessing levels of accountability required by companies, or the new beings themselves and any rights that might be bestowed upon them. The second symposium (held in June 2018) built upon the first and specifically address the responsibility of companies in the development, operation, and disposal of these technologies. Morally significant questions are currently not answered by the law; for example, as the law stands Directors are not required to consider whether these beings have a right to life, to liberty, or to self-ownership; nor to the impacts its existence and operations may have on society. We invite you to join us at the two-day final conference of this project, which will continue the work of these symposia and bring together a variety of researchers of disparate fields (including medical law and jurisprudence, policymakers, legal practitioners, and computer scientists) alongside new perspectives from neuroscience, neurology, consciousness studies and bioengineering in order to set the stage for future investigations of these legal conflicts and their wider implications.

Convenors: Dr Sarah Morley, Dr David Lawrence

If you’d like to attend, please register for free ASAP by contacting: sarah.morley [at] ncl.ac.uk with any dietary requirements.

Agenda – Thursday 25th October

Arrival – 10.00am

Registration and coffee

Introduction- 11:00- 11:30

Dr Sarah Morley, Dr David Lawrence (Newcastle University)

Session 1- NOVEL BEINGS 11:30-12:30, CHAIR: Dr Sarah Morley

11:30- Dr David Lawrence (Newcastle University)

12:00- Professor John Harris (Professor Emeritus, Manchester University, Visiting Professor, King’s College London)

Lunch- 12:30-13:30

Session 2- LEGAL CHALLENGES 13:30-15:00, CHAIR: Professor Mathias Siems

13:30- Dr Aisling McMahon (Maynooth University, IRE)

14:00- Mr Chris Riley (Durham University) and Dr Oludara Akanmidu (De Montfort University)

14:30- Professor Dirk Zetzsche (University of Luxembourg, LU)

Coffee Break- 15:00-15:30

Session 3- OTHER MINDS 15:30-16:30, CHAIR: Professor Lilian Edwards

15:30- Dr Joshua Jowitt (Newcastle University)

16:00- Dr Gardar Arnason (University of Tübingen, GER)

16:30- Dr Henry Shevlin (University of Cambridge)


Job: Scientific Policy Manager at the HFEA

8 October 2018

Contract type: Permanent full time

Salary: £36,000

Closing date: 14/10/2018

The Scientific Policy Manager is the main (internal) source of scientific Policy advice and briefing. They work with internal and external stakeholders to ensure that the HFEA’s scientific policies focus on improving quality of treatment and research, communicating these effectively, via briefings, articles, and speech-writing.

The post-holder manages the Scientific Advances Advisory Committee (SCAAC) and leads the Policy team’s scientific and clinical horizon scanning policy function, programming an annual international horizon-scanning panel meeting. They represent the HFEA at conferences and external working groups, presenting as required. The post also supports the Policy team, replying to public enquiries and drafting answers to relevant Parliamentary Questions. The Scientific Policy Manager is supported in their role by their line report, the Scientific Policy Officer.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone with a degree or equivalent in a scientific or clinical subject, and knowledge or academic experience in a biological or clinical science. You’ll have experience or involvement in policy work (ideally in a regulatory context), initiating and managing projects and good analytical skills. You’ll be able to understand complicated legal, ethical and scientific issues around assisted reproductive technologies and engage confidently with professional groups. Ideally, you’ll have experience of producing evidence-based guidance and working closely with senior staff and committees.

This is a unique opportunity to play a key role in the Policy team. You will have the chance to make a real and tangible difference to our work and the lives of patients. For more information about the work we do, please visit the HFEA website.


Lecture: Carol Gould on How Democracy Can Inform Consent: The Cases of Internet and Bioethics

27 September 2018
The Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy, and Law is hosting the Society for Applied Philosophy Annual Lecture. The lecture will be given by Carol Gould (CUNY). The title is “How Democracy Can Inform Consent: The Cases of Internet and Bioethics”.
The event will take place in the Council Room, Strand Campus, King’s College London on 26 October 2018, beginning 5pm (doors open 4.30pm). It will be followed by a drinks reception (6.30pm – 7.30pm).

Please register here.


Conference: The Development of Abortion Rights in a Changing Europe

26 September 2018

Date: Friday 28 September 2018, 09:00 – 18:00

Location: Faculty of Law, University Of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DZ

This conference will explore what human rights law has to say on the issue of abortion in 2018.


Job: Research Assistant in Law and Healing Reflecting on English Medico-Legal History and why it Matters at University of Manchester

3 September 2018
Job Reference : HUM-12583
Location : Oxford Road, Manchester
Closing Date : 01/10/2018
Salary : £26,495 to £30,688 per annum
Employment Type : Fixed Term
Faculty / Organisational Unit : Humanities
Division : Centre for Social Ethics and Policy
Hours Per week : Full Time
Contract Duration : Starting October 2018 until 30 September 2019

A research assistant is sought at Grade 5.3 to assist in the research funded by a Leverhulme Trust Emeritus Fellowship which has been awarded to Professor Margot Brazier. No DBS will be required. The research is desk based and archival.

The research will focus on:

  • Completion of my monograph Law and Healing: A History of a Stormy Marriage.

  • Further research into legal and ethical ‘lessons’ arising from a critical analysis of the regulation of midwives in the 16th to 18th centuries and the prototype for codes of professional ethics to be found therein.

  • Further research into the gradual rise of judicial deference to doctors and the era of Bolamisation from 1858 to 1998•