Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes in order to increase one’s standard of living. As technology advances, laws must be implemented in order to address the issues that have therefore arisen. This is evident in the evolution in gene technology and copyright.
To begin with, genetic profiling is the range of activities concerned with one’s genetic system. Through the use of genetic profiling, suspects can be convicted. This has been made possible as experts are now able to compare the DNA found at crime scenes to a suspect. Due to the fact that each person’s DNA is unique, the success rate is near 100%. Subsequently, as genetic profiling is highly useful in current cases, it is advantageous in re-examining past cases. Moreover, genetic profiling has provided a means for one to be discriminated against. In 2001 alone, a research conducted identified 48 cases in Australia of alleged gene discrimination. Due to the evolution of gene technology, a number of impacts have arisen.
Subsequently, as the DNA comparison success rate is near 100%, the legal system relies heavily on it as evidence. However, as DNA evidence can be misinterpreted or tampered, its reliability can be questioned. This misinterpretation of evidence is prevalent in the Farah Jama case. A jury convicted Farah Jama in 2008 for rape based solely on DNA evidence. After the DNA sample was retested and deemed unreliable, Mr Jama was acquitted. Within this case, resources by the police were not efficiently used, as police were only able to discover a small piece of evidence against the suspect at the time. This inefficient use of resources was also criticized by Michael McNamara, the Law Institute of Victoria’s criminal co-chairman, stating to The Age, “you shouldn't run a prosecution based on solely DNA, particularly where there is such room for human error.” Mr Jama’s individual rights were not protected within this case as he was imprisoned for 15 months for a crime he did not commit. Mr Jama was traumatised stating to The Age that he was constantly worried for his well being whilst imprisoned, thus highlighting that his individual rights had been violated. However, the legal system responded quickly as Jama’s conviction was quashed a month after the results of the DNA test were deemed inconclusive. The Farah Jama case is a prime example of the repercussion when DNA evidence is misinterpreted.
Furthermore, genetic testing in the workplace is an alarming way in which employer’s are able to abuse the advanced gene technology. Genetic testing within the workplace is conducted to show one’s chance of contracting a disease as opposed to one actually having the disease; for an individual to be denied of something due to the genetic testing would therefore be unjust as the individual may not even develop the disease. Within Australia, there is no current legislation that regulates the use of genetic testing or the ensuing possibility of workplace discrimination. This injustice however, is being investigated by the legal system through the creation of the Genetic Discrimination Project Team, as recommended by the ALRC in a report conducted. As the research team have had success, the allocation of funds into the team is in turn an efficient use of resources. However, the alarming slow response of the legal system to sufficiently meet society’s needs is highlighted through the decision to not amend legislation despite increased public concern of individual’s rights being violated in the inquiry of DP 66. Through the advancement in gene technology, individuals may be discriminated against. Moreover, copyright is the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish or sell a creative work. Copyright intends to protect one’s physical expression of ideas. This is done through the prohibition