John McMillan and Jeanne Snelling

in The Oxford Handbook of Law, Regulation and Technology

Published in print July 2017 | ISBN: 9780199680832
Published online January 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191800467 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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This chapter discusses the role that equality plays within liberal theory. We show how the concept of treating citizens as equals is integral to the legitimization of the state and its regulations, including those involving new technologies. We suggest that equality is a fundamental value when exploring the scope of relevant freedoms with respect to new technologies. However, understanding the role of equality for such issues requires sensitivity to important differences in the way in which it can be theorized. We explain how equality can be valued intrinsically, instrumentally, or constitutively. We also explain three different accounts of what egalitarian justice demands that are particularly relevant to framing policy involving new technology.

Keywords: equality; rights; fairness; egalitarianism; biotechnology; dignity; respect

Article.  9263 words. 

Subjects: IT and Communications Law ; Law and Society

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