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The IMF, WTO, World Bank, and WHO all come around? Multilateral Unity Against Inequitable Global COVID Vaccine Distribution, but still sans Human Rights

Sometimes, they do come around, albeit so narrowly. Back in February 2021, I argued that international law (specifically based on the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and the Right to Development presently being codified in the draft Convention on the Right to Development) compels States and non-State actors to design equitable COVID Vaccine Distribution and access as expeditiously as possible.  It was with a sigh of relief for many that on 1 June 2021, the leaders of key multinational organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva), the World Trade Organization (Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala), the World Bank Group (President David Malpass), and the World Health Organization (Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus) released a joint statement ahead of the G7 Summit to be hosted by the United Kingdom next week.  The Joint Statement is titled "A new commitment for vaccine equity and defeating the pandemic", and discusses "a coordinated strategy...to the vaccinate the world" that centers mainly on logistics: 1) financing the COVAX global vaccine access programme; 2) investments into…

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The draft WTO agreement on fisheries subsidies: Are we closing the net?

On 11 May the chair of the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s fisheries subsidies negotiations released a draft text designed to spur the final stage of negotiations toward final agreement. Talks on fisheries subsidies have been on the WTO’s ledger since 2001 and have been conducted in earnest since 2016. The negotiations are the key element in States’ efforts…

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EJIL: The Podcast! Episode 6 – Trumping International Law?

This episode examines the effects of the four years of the Trump Administration on international law. I am joined by Joseph Weiler, Co-Editor in Chief of EJIL and University Professor at New York University School of Law; Neha Jain, Professor of Public International Law at the European University Institute; and Chimene Keitner, who is Alfred…

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China’s Recent Restrictions on Trade and the SPS Agreement

Since June 2020, China turned its eye on trade measures to battle the spread of COVID-19 in its country. It introduced several measures, from extensive testing of containers and content of imported food and agricultural products to complete import bans of specific products (such as pork from Tönnies and poultry products from Tyson Foods Inc.

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Secondary Sanctions: A Weapon out of Control? Part III: Looking beyond the WTO – possible avenues to raise a Judicial Challenge against Secondary Sanctions

Judicial remedies at the domestic and international level In our two previous posts we examined the legality of secondary sanctions in light of customary law on the exercise of State jurisdiction, on the one end (here), and conventional law, specifically the IMF Articles of Agreement, on the other hand (here). Having established that, depending…

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