Report of the independent review of the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 and Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002
The independent Review Committee, chaired by the Hon Peter Heerey QC takes the view that the basic structure of the legislation should remain, while making recommendations about the framework for human embryo research. The 33 recommendations that were produced relate largely to updating and clarifying the legislation, or keeping existing requirements.
In April 2002, at a Council of Australian Governments the Prime Minister and all Premiers and Chief Ministers agreed that the Commonwealth, States and Territories would introduce nationally consistent legislation to ban human cloning and other unacceptable practices and that research be allowed only on excess embryos from assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures, being embryos that would otherwise have been left to expire. There was to be a strict regulatory regime, including requirements for the consent of donors.
A draft bill was prepared and after consultations undertaken by the NHMRC in each state and territory a Bill was introduced into Parliament on 27 June 2002. The Bill was referred to the Community Affairs Legislation Committee. After extensive debate in the House and the Senate the Parliament enacted two Acts: the Prohibition of Human Cloning Act 2002 and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002.