The paper addresses the issues of admissibility of human embryo research and the legal protection to be recognized, in light of the growing importance that scientific research has been gaining in the clinical and biomedical fields of embryonic stem cells for therapeutic purposes. As for human embryo experimentation, particularly on cryopreserved supernumerary embryos, European legislation varies, since the European Court has granted member States a wide margin of appreciation. Some countries, including Italy, have strict legislation protecting embryos from the fertilisation stage, whereas others have taken permissive approaches, allowing experimentation until 14 days after fertilisation. [---]