December 4, 2015

Dear Readers,

The Richmond Journal of Law and Technology is pleased to present its first issue of the Twenty-Second Volume. At its inception in 1995, JOLT became the first law review to be published exclusively online. Today, JOLT is one of the leading publications in the legal technology field and we are proud to publish articles that profoundly affect this landscape. The following articles present exciting discussions on cutting-edge areas of the law and give readers a glimpse into how technology is influencing the law. The Journal is confident that these articles will drive advancements in the law and in practice, and we look forward to the discussions they evoke.

In our first article, entitled “Can I Call You Back? A Sustained Interaction with Biospecimen Donors to Facilitate Advances in Research,” author Jonathan Miller analyzes the debate that has ensued over donor consent for the use of human embryonic stem cells for research in the wake of Executive Order 13505 and the National Institutes of Health’s guidelines for implementing it. Miller proposes a modified broad consent model that creates sustained interaction between donors and biobanking facilities by allowing facilities to recontact donors for the future use of their biospecimens in unforeseen and potentially stigmatizing research. The benefit of this unique model, Miller proffers, is that it strikes the appropriate balance between protecting the donor’s autonomy and promoting advancement in biomedical research. This model is an improvement upon the current federal regulations as it allows individuals to make an informed decision about the future use of their biospecimens while using a third party intermediary for recontact. This method not only ensures that biomedical research is unimpeded, but also has the potential to create a more robust, heterogeneous sample of biospecimens to find “the cure” for diseases.

Our second article is written by Sarah Cortes and is titled “MLAT Jiu-Jitsu and Tor: Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties in Surveillance.” The article examines the concurrent rise of both online government surveillance and international Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) that facilitate surveillance by government intelligence agencies. Cortes argues that MLAT expansion facilitates government surveillance and erodes civil liberties by providing a legal framework for cross-border surveillance, and attacking online privacy and anonymity tools.

On behalf of the entire Volume XXII JOLT staff, I want to extend our sincerest thanks for your continued readership. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the JOLT Editorial Board and Staff for the tremendous work they contributed to publishing Issue One. It has been a pleasure working with our outstanding authors and we are grateful for the time and dedication they have contributed to these articles. As always, JOLT greatly appreciates the ongoing support from the University of Richmond School of Law and is especially grateful for the guidance of our faculty advisors, Dean Jim Gibson and Professor Chris Cotropia.

Thank you for visiting JOLT. We are confident that you will enjoy Issue One. As always, your questions, comments, and suggestions are welcomed at jolt.richmond.edu.

 

Sincerely,

John G. Danyluk

Editor-in-Chief, Volume XXII

1.   Can I Call You Back?  A Sustained Interaction with Biospecimen Donors to Facilitate Advances in Research 

2.    MLAT Jiu-Jitsu and Tor:  Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties in Surveillance