The European Journal of International Law has taken a new step in increasing its offerings that contribute to the analysis of issues of international law. In addition to the Journal and this blog, EJIL:Talk!, which was established in 2008, the Journal also has a series of video interviews, EJIL:Live! We have now started EJIL: The Podcast! The aim of the podcast is to provide another forum for in-depth, expert but accessible discussion of international law issues in contemporary international and national affairs. We hope that readers of the journal and of the blog, who already have expertise in international law, will listen to the podcast. However, we also hope to attract an audience that extends beyond the international law specialist. The podcast is hosted by Sarah Nouwen (Cambridge), EJIL’s Co-Editor-in-Chief; Philippa Webb (KCL), Dapo Akande (Oxford); and Marko Milanovic (Nottingham). We also hope to have guests contribute to our discussions from time to time.

Please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn, It will shortly be available on several other platforms as well, and through aggregator apps on your phone or tablet. We would would appreciate listeners leaving a rating or review on the platform of their choice, as this will help promote the podcast.

Episode 1: Contagion

In the first episode of the podcast, we discuss the compatibility with international human rights law of the measures taken by states in the fight against the corona virus. In particular we address the question of whether, in tackling the virus, states have a duty to cooperate in order to secure the right to health. We also discuss whether states need to derogate from rights provided for in human rights treaties in order to take measures they consider necessary to protect health, or do the limitations inherent in those rights mean that they are sufficiently flexible to permit these measures? As we see states take a number of measures, including in some cases, legislation, to  combat misinformation relating to the virus, we consider whether human rights law imposes limits on how far states can go.

Although the coronavirus is the overwhelmingly dominant issue of the day, other international law issues have not completely disappeared. On the blog, we have tried to balance analysis of international legal issues relating to the virus with coverage of other issues. Likewise, we  end this first episode of the podcast with one of the international law issues of the day not receiving attention because of the virus – the indictment by the United States of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.


In episode 2, Sarah Nouwen, Marko Milanovic, Philippa Webb and Dapo Akande are joined by Gian Luca Burci, former Legal Counsel of the World Health Organization (WHO), to discuss what international health law provides in relation to preparation for and responses to pandemics. We consider the role of the WHO and its response to the COVID-19 crisis. We also discuss the status of the International Health Regulations adopted by the WHO as well as the obligations it imposes in situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic. What obligations, if any, did China have under these Regulations and did it act in breach of those obligations? We then turn to the various calls or attempts to hold states and organizations (China, the US, the WHO) accountable in international and  domestic courts. The final segment, which looks at international law issues being crowded out by the coronavirus, discusses a recent English case that raises a difficult tension between the obligation of states to accord diplomatic immunity and to protect human rights.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email