Title: The role of international law in controlling disease outbreaks

Authors: Rajat Banerjee; Abhinav Kumar

Addresses: School of Law and Justice, Adamas University, Barasat-Barrackpore Road, Barbaria, P.O. Jagannathpur, District-24 Parganas North, Kolkata-700126, West Bengal, India ' School of Law, GD Goenka University, GD Goenka Education City, Sohna Gurgaon Road, Sohna, Pin Code: 122103, Haryana, India

Abstract: Disease outbreaks in the form of epidemics and pandemics are known to destabilise the existing global public health infrastructure and to put nation-states in an alarming set of circumstances, thereby posing quite a few questions before us, including: can there be a solution to such problem in international law? In light of this question, the present essay tries to discern the role of international law in handling disease outbreaks. It wants to know whether there are sufficient international legal safeguards to address disease outbreaks and whether liability can be fastened on nation-states (including their people), international organisations, etc., if they are found to be directly and substantially responsible for such outbreaks. It dissects theoretical frameworks, analyses and interprets the existing literature to conclude that a 'one-size-fits-all' international legal approach is required to control disease outbreaks. It eventually recommends the need to have a Pandemic Convention.

Keywords: disease outbreaks; pandemics; international law; global public health; global health laws; Covid-19; Pandemic Convention.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2021.115000

International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2021 Vol.7 No.1, pp.74 - 96

Received: 30 Oct 2020
Accepted: 28 Dec 2020

Published online: 12 May 2021 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article