Current Issue

  • Volume 26,
  • Number 1 -
  • Fall 2015


Promoting "Academic Entrepreneurship" in Europe and the United States: Creating an Intellectual Property Regime to Facilitate the Efficient Transfer of Knowledge from the Lab to the Patient
Constance E. Bagley & Christina D. Tvarnø

In 2014, the European Commission announced the launch of a study of knowledge transfer by public research organizations and other institutes of higher learning “to determine which additional measures might be needed to ensure an optimal flow of knowledge between the public research organisations and business thereby contributing to the development of the knowledge based economy.” As the European Commission has recognized, the European Union (“EU”) needs to take action to “unlock the potential of IPRs [intellectual property rights] that lie dormant in universities, research institutes and companies.” This article builds on our earlier work on structuring efficient pharmaceutical public-private partnerships (“PPPPs”), but focuses on the regulatory infrastructure necessary to support the efficient commercialization of publicly funded university medical research in both the European Union and the United States (“U.S.”). Our comparative analysis of the EU and U.S. approaches to translational medicine shows that there are lessons to be shared. The EU can apply the experiences from the U.S. Bayh-Dole Act and PPPPs in the United States, and the United States can emulate certain of the open innovation aspects of the European Innovative Medicines Initiative and the tighter patenting standards imposed by the European Patent Office. Thus, a secondary purpose of this article is suggesting amendments to the U.S. laws governing the patenting and licensing of government-funded technology to prevent undue burdens on the sharing of certain upstream medical discoveries and research tools.

Constitutional Impediments to Decentralization in the World's Largest Federal Country
Sharmila L. Murthy & Maya J. Mahin

Decentralization is often advocated as a means of improving local democracy and enhancing what economists call allocative efficiency. In federal countries, where power is already divided between national and state governments, decentralization involves the devolution of power from state to local governments. The world’s largest federal country, India, took an unusual step to advance decentralization: it passed the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act to confer constitutional status on municipalities. However, India’s efforts to promote the devolution of power through a national urban renewal scheme have not succeeded for three reasons. The first is that India’s decentralization process is incomplete. Political decentralization has been stymied by the language of the constitutional amendment itself; administrative decentralization has been hampered by the comparative advantage of entrenched state-level institutions; and fiscal decentralization has not occurred because financial responsibility—but not significant revenue—has been devolved. The second reason is that decentralization has been undertaken in a top-down manner, which has exacerbated Center-state relations and mitigated the goal of allocative efficiency. Third is the relative weakness of local governance structures, which has created a Catch-22 situation: as long as the local governments lack significant capacity, the states are reluctant to devolve power to them. Additional effort needs to be directed towards an effective model of cooperative federalism. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi poised to create “smart cities” and promote urban renewal, it is critical to understand why India’s prior decentralization efforts have largely failed. The lessons learned over the past decade are an important guide to the future of cities in India as well as in other federal countries

Human Rights Accountability Through Treaty Bodies: Examining Human Rights Treaty Monitoring for Water and Sanitation
Benjamin Mason Meier & Yuna Kim

Framing scholarship on human rights accountability through treaty bodies, this article examines the water and sanitation content of state human rights reporting to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In this novel application of analytic coding methods to state human rights reports, the authors trace the relationship between human rights advancements on water and sanitation and treaty body monitoring of water and sanitation systems. These results raise an imperative for universal human rights indicators on the rights to water and sanitation, providing an empirical basis to develop universal indicators that would streamline reporting to human rights treaty bodies, facilitate monitoring of state reports, and ensure accountability for human rights implementation.


The Value of your Ancestors: Gaining "Back-Door" Access to the European Union Through Birthright Citizenship
Michael D. Moritz

Explaining International Variance in Foreign Bribery Prosecution: A Comparative Case Study
Sara C. Sáenz