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Public International Law and Pandemics: COVID-19 as a Watershed?

Völkerrechtliche Tagesthemen: Spotlight (Folge 9)


One year into the pandemic, Dr. Pedro A. Villarreal is taking stock of the International Law on global health. He focuses on the 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR) of the WHO, which contain binding obligations for WHO Member States on the cross-border spread of diseases. The IHR do have some limitations, however, e.g. their lack of an effective sanctions mechanism applicable by the WHO against Member States. In the end, Dr. Villarreal asks whether global responses against future pandemics might be different and whether the COVID-19 pandemic will act as a watershed in this light.

Pedro Villarreal

Pedro A. Villarreal is a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany. He holds a PhD in Law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

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