Canadian Journal of Law and Technology


clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, CRISPR, biotechnology, genetic research, technological determinism, clinical germline editing, delberative polling


This article examines current narratives surrounding CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and the current Canadian treatment of this novel biotechnology. It argues that Canada’s current approach to genetic research and CRISPR appear to have succumbed to the false narrative of technological determinism. It argues that Canada must buck the narrative and alter the current status quo in two principal ways: Canada should pursue more somatic CRISPR clinical trials in humans and permit pre-clinical germline editing. To design a regulatory regime for clinical germline editing and better guidance on somatic CRISPR clinical trials, Canada should engage Deliberative Polling to ensure Canadians’ views are represented in future legislation and regulations.