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Overcoming the Global Vaccine and Therapeutics Lag and ‘Vaccine Apartheid’: Abuse of Rights in the EU’s Continued Blocking of the TRIPS Waiver for COVID Vaccines and Related Medicines

Entering the third year of this global pandemic, the United States posted a grim global record of 1 million COVID cases on 3 January 2022.  This record, of course, exists in a shadow of relative non-transparency about COVID incidences, fatalities, and hospitalizations in many parts of the world, arising either from authoritarian regimes refusing to provide open access to population and community health data (with a latest scientific study indicating outright data manipulation in authoritarian regimes to yield low numbers), or sheer resource challenges and health system incapacities on the part of many developing countries that make it nearly impossible to accurately track and report this data.  Official COVID death tolls are routinely undercounted in many developed and developing parts of the world.  The World Health Organization declared that the real COVID death toll is two or three times what the official statistics say.  While initial tracking of COVID vaccine supplies (see December 2021 data tracker by the International Monetary Fund and the World Health Organization) appeared promising, the…

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Equitable COVID Vaccine Distribution and Access: Enforcing International Legal Obligations under Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the Right to Development

Editor's Note: This post was prepared in advance of my remarks for the 12 February 2021 Global Webinar of the Notre Dame Eck Institute of Global Health ("Are we all in this together? Assessing and addressing equitable access and distributive justice in global supply chains during major disease outbreaks").  By this time, US pharmaceutical companies…

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The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)’s Chapter 19 Dispute Settlement Procedures

Over this past weekend during the 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit hosted by Viet Nam, the ten ASEAN Member States (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Viet Nam) finally signed, together with five other trading partners - Japan, the People's Republic of China, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand…

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To CETA or not to CETA: Reflections on ISDS and the special responsibility of national parliaments

In a reaction to an EJIL: Talk! post by Baetens et al., Arcuri et al. claim that the Dutch parliament has the right to reject CETA and also argue in favour of it doing so. The post by Arcuri et al. raises important points that merit further discussion, among legal academics and practitioners, politicians, and citizens.

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Expropriating democracy: on the right and legitimacy of not ratifying CETA

In May 2020, the unwinding saga in CETA’s ratification landed in a divided Dutch Senate. The date of the decisive vote in the Senate is dependent on the government’s response to questions raised by senators. Academics have suggested that the Netherlands should ratify CETA because not doing so ‘would be a very negative signal’ ‘in today’s crumbling…

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