What is Nanotechnology Law?

Monday, March 6, 2006

Might be a little early to ask but its been a hype anyway. Google Nanotechnology Law and see what you get if you don't trust me ;)

When asked what a certain body of Law is, the answer will likely to be in touch with the "object" it regulates, either a certain place or locus, a certain activity or a certain subject.
A Company Law is a set of legislations and practices that regulate Companies. Environmental Law regulates the environment, Banking Law regulates banking activities and Personal Law regulates natural persons.

In short, the Law has always hovers around the issue of locus (place), temporis (time), materiaie (content) and personae (people). If we are to build the so called Nanotechnology Law then these are the elements that we need to consider. Let me try to explain these elements by using Water Law as a case study.

Possible Locus        : Water Source, River
Possible Temporis  : 5 Years, 20 Years, After enacted
Possible Content     : Imprisonment, Fines, Rights and Obligations
Possible Personae : Water Regulatory Authority, Irrigation Authority

I guess, that could give a little picture on what a Law should consist of. But some Laws are not unique. Technology Law for example is a set of related regulations about technology and computer Law is a set of regulations about intellectual property, computers, privacy law and consumer law (among others) combined into one. Technology Law is the broad, parent idea and Computer Law (and certainly, Nanotechnology Law too) is one of its sons.

Now, does Nanotechnology Law has a sui generis character like -- say -- Intellectual Property Law? My temporary answer would be "No". My reasons are that Nanotech involves IP, computer, consumer, environmental to name a few. I don't think Nanotechnology Law is a specific Law such as IP or Company. Its rather like a general law comprised of many other bodies of law which are developed due to the invention of molecular manufacturing capability.

Mohamad Mova Al 'Afghani