The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a global health crisis unlike any seen in the seventy-five years since the United Nations and the World Health Organization were formed - one that is killing people, spreading human suffering, and upending people's lives. But this is much more than a health crisis. It is a human crisis. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is attacking societies at their core. It is therefore a crucial point around which to focus the capability of national and global institutions to address this essential threat to human health and life.
The purposes of this Article are to revisit and assess the field of global health law as it has evolved since 2014 and to understand the origins of global health law and the forces now shaping its future with the benefit of new histories and analyses as well as how those forces are exerted upon the most significant infectious disease threat to face the world in the last 100 years. This Article undertakes this inquiry in order to understand how the relevant actors and subjects have changed; whether institutions established since 2000 are still optimally positioned to do the most relevant work; and whether changes in the relevant subjects of global health law (like animals and plants) are adequately prioritized. It is the first to undertake such a comprehensive review. The Article analyzes those components that Gostin detailed, like the International Health Regulations, that have become even more important (and scrutinized) with the COVID-19, Ebola, MERS-CoV, and Zika public health emergencies. It also identifies those aspects of global health law that have become ascendant, like the participation of the U.N. Security Council, which in 2014 seemed, only occasionally, concerned with HIV/AIDS, and not with wider health threats to international peace and security.
Sam F. Halabi,
The Origins and Future of Global Health Law: Regulation, Security, and Pluralism, 108 Georgetown Law Journal 1607
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/facpubs/974