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Law And Participation

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Chapter Summary

The issue of participation is of interest to scholars in law because of its relation to new forms of governance and regulation. Empirical studies of participation in biotechnology licensing show however that such procedures "itself may cause serious trouble when it is embedded in a formal procedure with a relatively strong legal framework". Taking this as an example, this chapter discusses the main problem that the legal system might be dysfunctional to various political participatory ambitions. Considering the many instances of participatory instruments embedded in legal frameworks in many sectors of society, for instance environmental matters, it is important to ask what kind of problems the law might cause and the reasons behind these problems. With environmental law and regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as an example, the chapter analyses the paradoxical tendencies of the legal system to exclude citizens even when regulations have the purpose of including citizens.

Keywords: biotechnology; citizens; environmental law; genetically modified organisms (GMOs); legal system; public participation



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