Model Legislation and the Transnational Governance of Human Heritable Gene Editing

Document Type



Boggio, Andrea. “Model Legislation and the Transnational Governance of Human Heritable Gene Editing.” Asian Biotechnology & Development Review, vol. 23, no. 1, Mar. 2021, pp. 21–38.


Asian Biotechnology & Development Review


Traditionally, governance of technology is left primarily to nation-states. Emerging technology often challenges this governance approach, mainly when technology circulates across national boundaries. This paper explores the potential of model legislation to integrate the traditional approach to make technology governance more robust internationally. Model legislation comprises various strategies aimed at developing regulatory instruments that can form the basis of regulation at the national level. Using advances in technology to modify the human germline, the paper analyses transnational challenges governing this technology and argues that some of the lessons learned by studying how UNCITRAL, a United Nations body, develops model legislation can be successfully applied to the governance of human germline gene editing. The paper advocates for developing comprehensive model legislation and legislative guides around human gene editing, which lawmakers and regulators at the national level can use to model legal reform.