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International Law and the Right to Food: What We Can Learn from Racial Justice Movements

Until very recently, international law usually dealt with questions of race and racism through two primary mechanisms: denial and containment. On the one hand, the outlawing and criminalisation of the most egregious forms of racial discrimination contributed to the narrative that international law was the polar opposite and even the primary antagonist of racism, which was generally relegated to an irrational past. On the other, international legal doctrines and structures only recognised and addressed racial subordination in so far as it was named and challenged through the idiom of ‘racial discrimination’. This dual move has profound consequences. First, it locates racism exclusively on the level of the nation-state. Secondly, it negates the possibility that the heart of racism does not lie in this or that discriminatory law or treatment but rather on the way our national and international political economy is structured. From this, it follows that even though some international legal fields have been critiqued for their complicity with racism and the…

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The Second Oxford Statement on International Law Protections of the Healthcare Sector During COVID-19: Safeguarding Vaccine Research

The alarming spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic—now infecting nearly 19 million and claiming more than 700,000 lives worldwide—has made it increasingly urgent to define international law protections for the health care sector against malicious cyber operations. In May 2020, malicious cyberattacks on organizations at the frontline of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic—including the…

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Cyber Operations against Vaccine R & D: Key International Law Prohibitions and Obligations

By August, COVID-19 had killed 700,000 people world-wide, while at least 18 million have been infected by the virus. It now appears that the best hope for battling the pandemic may lie in multiple vaccines. This reality has sparked vaccine nationalism, as states compete for the supplies that hopefully will become available early next year. For…

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Is the National Security Exception in the TRIPS Agreement a Realistic Option in Confronting COVID-19?

It has been suggested by some scholars and commentators that states can invoke the national security exception in the TRIPS Agreement as part of measures to tackle COVID-19 (see here, here, and here). This would entail invoking the security exception to suspend the enforcement of patent rights in order to facilitate either the importation or…

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COVID-19 and EJIL

We are pulled in opposite directions in the face of a global upending of normal life. We find it attractive, even if hunkered down at home, as is our whole editorial team, in six different countries, to continue serenely our normal work in the face of a-normalcy. The life of the mind, the scholarly endeavor continues – even…

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