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Gartner, Marchant quoted in ‘New Haven Independent’

law professor
November 30, 2011

Professors David Gartner and Gary Marchant were quoted in The New Haven Independent on the concept of “pacing problems” in which the fast pace of new technological innovation far exceeds the slow pace of legislation and regulation.

Gartner and Marchant were among speakers at the recent third annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Nanoscience and Emerging Technologies in Tempe.

In the Nov. 24 article, “Pacing and Progress,” Gartner said the problem can be mitigated by using “principles-based regulation,” in which the law is worded and applied broadly and leaves much up to interpretation by the courts on an individual case-by-case basis. 

Gartner said this method has been tried before, primarily in Britain’s financial market, and has been met with some success.

Marchant, ASU Regents’ Professor and Executive Director for the College of Law’s Center for Law, Science & Innovation, said an example of technology surpassing regulation is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act, which specifies regulating water coming out of pipes while fertilizer and toxins are also present in runoff. The slow pace of change leaves many wondering whether “hard” regulations are simply out of the question, he said. “Regulators are telling us they can’t deal with this problem,” Marchant said. “What can we do?”

To read the article, click here.

Gartner teaches Constitutional Law, International Institutions, Foreign Relations Law and Global Health Law and Policy. His current research focuses on the role of innovative international institutions and non-state actors in shaping international law and the response to global challenges in areas such as global health, development, education and the environment.

Marchant is a Center Faculty Fellow and the ASU Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law and Ethics. His research interests include the use of genetic information in environmental regulation, risk and the precautionary principle, legal aspects of personalized medicine, and regulation of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, neuroscience and biotechnology. Marchant teaches courses in Environmental Law, Law, Science & Technology, Genetics and the Law, Biotechnology: Science, Law and Policy, and Nanotechnology Law & Policy. He was named a Regents' Professor in 2011 and also is a professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences.

Megan Stewart,
Office of Communications, College of Law