New Technologies and Human Rights Facts, interpretations, perspectives A report for a Fundamental Rights Agency's discussion

Stefano Rodotà


One of the FRA's long term objectives is to: “identify and analyse major trends in the field of fundamental rights”. One major trend at the present time is the relationship between scientific and technological innovations and fundamental rights.

-An analysis of this relationship has become even more important after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, which, by giving the Charter of Fundamental Rights the same legal force as the treaties, provides a more solid and inescapable legal basis.

-In these cases we usually speak of “new rights”, but this expression can be dangerously ambiguous. It creates the impression that rights are capable of constant renovation, to satisfy at any moment a reality that is constantly changing. At the same time, however, it also gives us a glimpse of a contrast between rights that are new and those that are old, as though the most distant are consumed by time, leaving the field open to a better, more up-to-date and glossy product. Rights are spoken about in terms of “generations”, and this terminology, identical to that used in the computer world, might suggest that each new generation of tools takes the place of the one that came before, which, having become obsolete may be definitively abandoned. The Charter, however, takes a different standpoint, underlining the indivisibility of rights, and therefore a process of accumulation and integration, not replacement. Consequently, when we look at rights that relate more directly to science and technology, we need to reconstruct and interpret all recognized rights as a whole.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Department of Law - University of Perugia
Via Pascoli, 33 - 06123 Perugia (PG) -  Telephone 075.5852401 
Comparative Law Review is registered at the Courthouse of Monza (Italy) - Nr. 1988 - May, 10th 2010.
Editors - Prof. Giovanni Marini, Prof. Pier Giuseppe Monateri, Prof. Tommaso Edoardo Frosini, Prof. Salvatore Sica, Prof. Alessandro Somma, Prof. Giuseppe Franco Ferrari, Prof. Massimiliano Granieri.

Direttore responsabile:Alessandro Somma