In September 2020, a detailed report on Heritable Human Genome Editing was published. In response, The CRISPR Journal solicited perspectives from experts in the field. Professor Jacob Sherkow, an expert on CRISPR patent issues, addressed regulation and enforcement in his essay, which follows:
"The HHGE report relies, in substantial part, on using law as an instrument of international governance of heritable genome editing. Although this is understandable, actually enforcing such a system—even if well-crafted according the report’s principles—will remain particularly fraught in the international context. As noted by Alta Charo, there will always be ‘‘rogues’’ under such a system; what should a country do when it catches one of its own? Enforcing any legal regime that cabins heritable genome editing will require jurisdictions to answer questions such as the bounds of appropriate punishment for illegal genome editing behavior, for example, imprisonment or fines; defining exactly who the ‘‘rogues’’ are, for example, scientists, technicians, or paying patients; and what to do about rehabilitating such actors in the future. Different answers to these questions across jurisdictions may very well regress to the same fractured map of HHGE legality currently in place."
Read the full article at liebertpub.com.