The Need for a Procedural Approach to Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: An Emerging Regulatory Model within EU

  • Simone Penasa Post-doc Researcher Department of Legal Studies – University of Trento (Italy)


This paper proposes a classification of hESC research regulation by shifting from the statutory content of relevant national Laws to the method of decision-making process, in order to verify whether it is possible to identify a connection between the concrete characters of that process and its outcome. A set of procedural indexes are identified and applied to the analysed legal systems. According to an increasing fulfilment of indexes, we may individuate two main regulatory families: the "˜value oriented"™ and the "˜procedure oriented"™ ones. The latter is developing an increasing impact within European context: it is characterised by a mix of regulatory sources, each developing a specific function. Within this model, statutory law cannot infringe a regulatory space reserved to expertise and selfregulation, developing a subsidiary function; furthermore, it has to recognise the integrative role of expertise within statutory-making process.