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International legal framework for the criminal legal protection of the embryo


In connection with the active development and use of assisted reproductive technologies, protection of the human embryo and its legal status issue is currently being actualized. We make an attempt to reveal and explain some of the international aspects of the criminal law protection of the life and rights of the embryo. We consider the concept of “embryo” not only from the point of view of various scientific approaches (medicine, biology, embryology, jurisprudence), but also from the legislative side. We present and analyze the first mention of the embryo in Roman private law in connection with modern domestic law. We carry out an analysis of international legal acts that provide protection of embryos both “in vitro” and “in vivo”, followed by consideration of specific criminal law norms of foreign countries, namely Brazil and Colombia. We pay attention to some of the most famous cases from the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights in order to understand the applied international legal acts “de facto”. The study also takes into account modern domestic legislation and considers point “g” of part 2 of Article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.


embryo, nasciturus, human, right to life

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Section of issue

Substantive law

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