Global Health

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Are You Ready for a Pandemic? The International Health Regulations Put to the Test of Their ‘Core Capacity Requirements’

Legal analyses of the Covid-19 pandemic have mainly addressed measures adopted in response to this event. However, institutional agendas related to disasters, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, reaffirm that similar attention should be paid to prevention and preparedness measures that can positively impact potentially affected communities, also in economic terms (for health emergencies see the 2019 report of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, co-convened by WHO and the World Bank Group). Measures addressing risk reduction also have international legal implications (Samuel, Aronsson-Storrier & Bookmiller and here) and indeed the International Health Regulations themselves encapsulate this perspective, particularly through their Articles 5 and 13, and Annex 1. However, the implementation of such obligations has suffered from various shortcomings and has not been supported by a substantial monitoring system. The recent focus on such issues by WHO and Member States has resulted in some new initiatives, but ultimately constituted too little and too late.

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Cyber Attacks and Cyber (Mis)information Operations during a Pandemic

Hot on the heels on the Oxford Statement on international law rules and principles relating to malicious cyber operations targeting healthcare facilities, just a quick teaser that the next episode of EJIL: The Podcast! will be dealing precisely…

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Why the WHO is failing and how to fix it

The maligned World Health Organization (WHO) faces its biggest crisis since its inception in 1948. Critical questions about whether China reported the novel coronavirus to the WHO promptly expose a sustained governance flow which the global health security regime builds upon—where national sovereignty has always trumped mutual responsibility. While the nation-state is primarily responsible for the health of…

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The Failure to Pursue the Mandates of International Organizations in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

This blogpost is a reaction to the last episode of EJIL: The Podcast!, in which the brilliant discussion on the role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the pandemic ended up with the perennial question of accountability. As contended by Gian Luca Burci, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown once again that international organizations are ideal scapegoats.

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The Myth and Mayhem of ‘Build Back Better’: Human Rights Decision-Making and Human Dignity Imperatives in COVID-19

Human rights were already under siege everywhere around the world before COVID-19.  But there is also a dawning race now against reaching the ‘twilight of human rights law’, due to: 1) authoritarian regimes’ dismissal of the relevance of human rights while using this pandemic to expand and consolidate their power, such as to silence speech,…

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