Strengthening the Monitoring of States’ Compliance with the International Health Regulations

In: International Organizations Law Review
Pedro A. Villarreal Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Germany,

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Roojin Habibi Research Fellow, Global Strategy Lab and PhD Candidate in Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada,

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Allyn Taylor Affiliate Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law, USA,

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The current article aims to undertake a retrospective and a prospective analysis of compliance monitoring under the International Health Regulations of 2005 (ihr (2005)). First, different theoretical understandings of compliance are discussed. The study then focuses on a ‘triad’ of obligations under the ihr (2005): 1) to timely and effectively notify the World Health Organization (who) of events that may constitute public health emergencies of international concern (Article 6 ihr); 2) to notify and justify additional health measures restricting international travel and trade in response to events elsewhere (Article 43 ihr); and, 3) to build minimum core capacities required to conduct pandemic surveillance and response activities (Article 5 ihr). The retrospective analysis revisits the fate of past and current mechanisms of compliance monitoring under the ihr (2005). Lastly, a prospective formulation builds upon the elements of the retrospective analysis, sketching a possible way forward for monitoring of compliance with the ihr (2005).

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