Our Recent Publications in Global Health Law

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2012 was a busy year for us all. Below are some of our most recent publications on Global Health Law. 

Feel free to explore these highlighted works and visit our publications page for additional journals, studies, articles and more.


tfc toolkitO’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. 2012. Tobacco Industry Strategy in Latin American Courts: A Litigation Guide. Toolkit (Spanish) Toolkit (English)

The ratification of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) by 15 countries in Latin America has played a central role in generating momentum for strong tobacco control laws at the municipal, provincial and national levels – even in the few countries that have not yet ratified the treaty.

The tobacco industry has correspondingly stepped up two related efforts. First, it is spending substantial resources to sway lawmakers against passing effective tobacco control laws. Second, where its efforts to dilute or weaken tobacco control laws fail, it turns to the courts, often deploying the same or similar arguments based on certain purported “rights.” These “rights” relate to the advertising and marketing of its products, the “rights” of citizens to consume those products in public or occupational spaces, and the “rights” of proprietors and employers to permit such consumption. Read More

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A Discussion of Global Health and PEPFAR from 2008

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 PEPFARDuring the O’Neill Institute Colloquium in 2008, Ambassador Mark R. Dybul, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator at the time, addressed current and emerging issues related to President Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  In this video, Amb. Dybul presents a historical framework for PEPFAR and discusses the implications of its recent (2008) re-authorization. Read More

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Malaria Elimination and Eradication: A Look Back at Our 2012 O’Neill Institute Colloquium

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In the spirit of looking back and reviewing the work of the O’Neill Institute, we would like to share two presentations with you from our most recent O’Neill Institute Colloquium, David Bowen, “Malaria Elimination: Politics and Practicalities” and Joel Breman, “Eradicating Malaria: The Holy Grail of Tropical Medicine.” Read More

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Welcome Back and Happy New Year!

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Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Welcome back and Happy New Year!
In the coming weeks, in addition to our regular posts, this blog will serve as an exciting retrospective of the O’Neill Institute’s work.
We will include highlights from our past events, recent developments from our many robust research projects, important advancements in health law, and much more.
So please stay tuned. You won’t want to miss this!

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Litigation and Health Reform in Brazil: Balancing Access to Health with the Creation of a Durable and Equitable Health System

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This post was written by John Thorpe and originally published on Georgetown’s Human Rights Institute Blog, 1948: A Rights Forum on December 5, 2012.

Good health is a precondition for the enjoyment of most of the rights we cherish.  A young woman crippled by opportunistic HIV/AIDS infections faces significant challenges to vote, let alone to contest barriers to vote.  Good health ensures that we can work and work productively.  It also promotes early childhood education and gives children an opportunity to perform at their highest potential.  As The Global Network has noted, the broad negative social impact that neglected tropical diseases have on education, economic development, and women’s empowerment is illustrative of the fundamental nature of good health. 
Recognizing that the right to health is a pillar of individual and collective dignity, the international community enshrined it in article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.  Yet historically, the right has lacked broad institutional support and reliable mechanisms for enforcement.  Recent codifications of the right to health into national constitutions are changing this by, among other things, opening up the possibility of litigation for individuals seeking access to care and medication.  Brazil serves as a good example.  Since codifying the right to health in its constitution, Brazil has witnessed a veritable explosion in health related litigation (in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state, health related lawsuits filed against the state have increased over 1000% from 2002-2009).  Although this trend in litigation is raising a number of questions regarding sustainability and equity, one thing is clear: litigation is moving the public discourse from debate over the right to health’s epistemological validity in the rights framework to inquiries into pragmatic methods and optimal institutional structures to ensure its enjoyment in practice.  Litigation, while not a permanent answer to health inequity and in need of reform, is providing poor Brazilians with access to necessary medication and with an effective tool to claim their right to health where current distributional structures are failing.  

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The views reflected in this blog are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.

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