Global Health

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Calibrating Human Rights and Necessity in a Global Public Health Emergency: Revive the UN OHCHR’s ICESCR Compliance Criteria

COVID-19 has reached every continent, every region, and almost all countries in the world. Most of us are either in quarantine, sheltering in place, in hospitals fighting for lives, in the front lines of depleting health care resources in the developed and developing world, or attempting some semblance of life (e.g. transplanting to remote work, online education, and even virtual forms of worship and simulating social gatherings) as part of the new normal of a global public health emergency under a vaccine-less and antidote-less (as of this writing) COVID-19.  The global strain on State resources is worse felt by the world's most vulnerable - refugees, displaced persons, and homeless persons - all often already in the throes of extreme poverty after surviving armed conflicts, humanitarian crises, natural disasters, and the increasingly vivid and existential impacts of climate change.  There is no aspect of the human condition that will be left untouched or unaffected by the unprecedented impacts…

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Part III: Due Diligence and COVID-19: States’ Duties to Prevent and Halt the Coronavirus Outbreak

  In Parts I and II of this blog post, we presented some of the most relevant international obligations to prevent and halt the COVID-19 outbreak, and to mitigate its disastrous effects on peoples’ lives and the functioning of our society. Part III, in their light, assesses some of the measures States have adopted…

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Part II: Due Diligence and COVID-19: States’ Duties to Prevent and Halt the Coronavirus Outbreak

In Part I of this post, we discussed the extent to which the no-harm principle and the rights to life and health require States to prevent and stop the COVID-19 outbreak. In this second part, we will assess the extent to which the International Health Regulations, as well as the obligations arising in the event of…

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Part I: Due Diligence and COVID-19: States’ Duties to Prevent and Halt the Coronavirus Outbreak

This is a 3-Part post on the international legal framework relevant to the prevention of, response to and mitigation of the global public health crisis engendered by the outbreak of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Part I introduces the concept of due diligence which characterises the said legal framework and looks at relevant…

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COVID-19 and Defences in the Law of State Responsibility: Part II

In our previous post, we considered whether States could rely on the plea of force majeure in respect of non-performance of international obligations connected to their efforts to contain the COVID-19. We concluded that force majeure might not provide a defence to States since their measures in addressing the spread of the virus were voluntary measures. In this…

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