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The Right to Benefit from Science and Its Implications for Genomic Data Sharing

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Yotova, Rumiana Vladimirova 
Knoppers, Bartha M 


The right to benefit from science and its applications is one of the least studied, discussed and applied human rights. In the current time of globalization, characterized by the rapid advancement of science and its technological applications, as well as by increased flows of scientific data, there is a growing need to fully awaken the right of everyone to enjoy the benefits of science. This would enable science to serve better the humanitarian purposes of the law, as well as foster scientific and technological development through data sharing. This paper contributes to the awakening of the right by exploring it doctrinally with the aim of ascertaining its normative content by reference to the preparatory works of Article 15 ICESCR and especially the subsequent state practice in its application. Based on the evidence, it will be argued that today, the right to benefit from science has two aspects – first, the right to access scientific knowledge and information and second, the right to benefit from scientific applications. It will be shown that the first aspect of the right is increasingly reflected in the practice of states and international organizations and has important implications for the regulation and sharing of big genomic data.



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European Journal of International law

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Oxford University Press

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