Chicago Journal of International Law


In September of 2001, the United Nations placed the topic of human cloning on its agenda at the request of France and Germany. These countries hope that negotiations regarding human cloning will prompt the UN to adopt "an international legal instrument banning the reproductive cloning of human beings." Currently, scientists can travel to one of the many countries lacking restrictions on cloning and attempt to clone humans without facing legal repercussions. An international regulatory regime, therefore, seems necessary if a prohibition on cloning is to be effective. An international treaty banning human cloning may not be the perfect solution; it will probably lack universal acceptance, and it will take years to create. However, the development of such a treaty will initiate an international discussion regarding the consequences of human cloning, and the enforcement of such a treaty will inevitably lead to some international regulation of cloning technology. I conclude that the benefits of creating and enforcing a treaty banning the reproductive cloning of human beings outweigh its possible weaknesses.