1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Egenis · People

Ms. Kate Getliffe

Egenis Research Student




01392 725140


01392 724676






Byrne House


Kate undertook an undergraduate degree in European Studies with languages (First Class Honours). Following which she gained an LLM in Environmental and Conservation Law at the University of Kent at Canterbury (Distinction) and was awarded the Cripps Harries Hall prize for best postgraduate student in law.Kate subsequently worked as a researcher in the School of Law, University of Exeter (2001-2003) on an EU funded project which looked into environmental liability relating to mine waters. The project was entitled Environmental Regulation of Mine Waters in the European Union (ERMITE). Additionally, Kate has worked for a law firm and the Environment Agency.Kate is following a 1+3 programme, supported by the ESRC and completed the MSc Genomics in Society (Distinction) and is currently in her third year of the PhD. Kate’s supervisors are Dr Oliver James (Politics) and Dr Jane Calvert (Innogen, University of Edinburgh).


UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA) and the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA).


ArticlesGetliffe, K. 'European waste law: has recent case law impacted upon the mess? Case C-6/00 Abfall Service AG (ASA) v Bundesminister fur Umwelt, Jugend und Familie (2002) ECJ and case C-9/00 Palin Granit Oy and Vehmassalon Kansanterveystyon kuntayhtyman hallitus (2002) ECJ’, Environmental Law Review, 2002, Vol 4, Number 3, pp.171-178.Getliffe, K., ‘Proceduralisation and the Aarhus Convention: does increased participation in the decision-making process lead to more effective EU environmental law?’ Environmental Law Review, Vol 4, Number 2, 2002, pp.107-116.Reviews

Getliffe, K. and Calvert, J., review of 'Governing the Transatlantic Conflict over Agricultural Biotechnology: Contending Coalitions, Trade Liberalisation and Standard Setting', Routledge, Murphy J and Levidow L, in Environmental Values, 2007, Vol.16, No.2, pp. 279-281

Getliffe, K., review of ‘The Regulatory Challenge of Biotechnology: Human Genetics, Food and Patents’ by Han Somsen (Ed) in SCRIPT, Ed 4 : 4, 2007. Click here to read the review. Reports

Kroll, A., Betlem, G. Brans, E,. Getliffe, K., Groen, F. Santamaria L., Lucas, M. and Lopez, B. 'Environmental regulation of mine waters in the European Union, European policies and mine waters', EU funded ERMITE project, Technical Report, Nov 2002, 193 pages. Read the article here.

Betlem, G., Edward, B., Getliffe, K. and Groen, F. Exeter Paper in European Law No.8, ‘Environmental Liability and Mining Law in Europe’, Report D4 for ERMITE: Environmental Regulation of Mine Waters in the European Union, September 2002Conference Presentations

‘What Role does Public Concern Play in Setting the Agenda in the Regulation of Genomics?’ Genomics and Society International Conference, Amsterdam 17-18 April 2008.

‘Public Opinion & the Regulation of Risk in the case of Genomics’ CARR Postgraduate Conference, London School of Economics, 20-21 September 2007.

‘Attention Cycles and Genomics: The Interactions between Public Opinion, Technology and Regulation.’ European Consortium Political Researchers (ECPR), Pisa, 6-8 September 2007.

Research Interests

Kate’s PhD research project examines the interaction between public opinion and regulation for the case of genomics. This is the thesis abstract in its current form:What is this thing we all refer to as ‘public opinion’? Can such a fluid concept be ring-fenced? If not, then how can we measure the role it plays in the regulatory process and conversely, the role that regulation plays in shaping public views? This thesis analyses the classic understanding of public opinion, survey data, in tandem with regulators’ understandings of public opinion in order to tease out examples of interactions between public opinion and regulation. In the thesis, it is argued that the conceptualisation or construction of ‘public opinion’ by regulators is a very different ontological object from that derived from survey data. I suggest that the gauge which regulators refer to as ‘public opinion’ should be renamed in line with its role as one input into the regulatory process. It is the measurement of its value and influence as an input which is at the crux of this thesis. The decision to apply this research to the regulation of genomics is derived from the deliberative practices inherent in the regulation of this domain. As a consequence of the complex ethical and legal issues which genomics introduces, there is a requirement to provide evidence of a greater nod to public opinion relative to other regulatory domains. Within policy and regulatory documents such rhetoric is often tied in to the idea of the production of effective regulation. The enhanced role given to the public in regulatory policy in genomics suggests both that regulation should be responsive and that regulation has an impact upon public opinion.It is argued that there exists a gap between the regulators’ understanding of public opinion (whether this results from an engagement exercise or not), and the survey data findings. Does the symbolic power of regulation appease the public whether the regulation is highly responsive to public opinion or not? I will examine the levels of duty imbued upon Independent Regulatory Agencies in deliberation and assess whether the regulation plays a greater role in alleviating concerns in instances where enhanced deliberative practice is undertaken. The case-studies from genomics are prenatal and preimplantation genetic diagnosis and GM foods. Different publics will be analysed in order to illustrate the power that they have in the shaping of the regulation of genomics: consumers in the case of GM foods and parents in PND and PGD.