Global Health

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The Brazilian Federal Supreme Court comes to the protection of indigenous people’s right to health in the face of Covid-19

In August 2020, the plenary of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court delivered a decision affirming the legal capacity of an indigenous movement, the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), to bring a claim before the Supreme Court for the review of actions and omissions of the federal government and the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) when addressing the threat of Covid-19 to indigenous peoples – and ordering both the government and FUNAI to take precise actions for the protection of the indigenous peoples against such threat. The Decision is grounded on the Brazilian Federal Constitution and on international treaties which Brazil has ratified and introduced into its domestic legal system. At different moments, as we explain below, the Decision interprets this corpus of domestic law in light of international law. Notably, the Decision draws on the latter to affirm the need to ensure intercultural dialogue in enforcing the right to health. In this post, we begin with an account of the social-legal context of the Decision, before looking at how it addresses the right to…

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Reclaiming the Voice of Youth: Pandemic Politics and Law and the Invisibility of Youth

2019 will go down in history as the year with the largest transnational youth-led movement of all times: the global climate protests spearheaded by Fridays for Future. A year later, in the midst of an unprecedented global health crisis, the voices of these millions of politically active young people are virtually absent in all important sites of pandemic…

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Persons at Sea, International Law and Covid-19

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect people around the world, the scholarly debate on how to uphold the rule of law amid the crisis remains relevant. A significant aspect of this debate has focused on the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on human rights (see, for example, here, here and here). However, it is not…

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“I want to break free”: the WHO Foundation as an Experiment in the Financing of International Organisations

The current COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the World Health Organization (WHO) into sharp relief. Views differ on the questions of whether the WHO has convincingly managed the pandemic, whether its International Health Regulations are up to scratch and whether it and its current leadership are under too heavy influence of China, other member states or even private actors…

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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…

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