Summer Program

Courses

Day 1 - Introduction to NCDs

Session 1 – Welcome and Introductions                           

  • Welcome to the O’Neill Institute
  • Introduction of participants
  • Opening lecture

Speakers: Lawrence Gostin (O’Neill Institute), “The Silent Pandemic of NCDs: Framing the National and Global Response”; Tanya Baytor, (O’Neill Institute) “Welcome”

Session 2 – Introduction to Global Health Law
The lecture will provide an introduction to the intersection of international law and health, addressing the:

  • Sources and subjects of international law
  • Mandate of the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Law-making powers set out in the Constitution of the WHO
  • Decision-making structures within the WHO
  • Legal culture within the WHO
  • Health-related law-making in other international forums

Speaker: Allyn Taylor (O’Neill Institute)

Session 3 – The State of Play
This panel will provide an overview of NCDs, including the:

  • Global burden of NCDs and risk factors
  • Programmatic initiatives to address NCDs, such as the global monitoring framework and the Global Action Plan
  • Overview of instruments relevant to NCDs

Moderator: Benn McGrady (O’Neill Institute)

Speakers: Godfrey Xuereb (WHO) and Katherine DeLand (WHO)

Session 4 – Justifying Government Intervention: Normative Theories of Regulation
In what circumstances is it appropriate for government to intervene? This question underpins the use of law to address NCDs as well as restraints on the power of government. This lecture and interactive discussion forum will examine normative theories of regulation, including those relating to correction of market failures, paternalism, justice and human rights. The session will also explore the implications of recent behavioral research for normative theories of regulation.

Speakers: Lawrence Gostin (O’Neill Institute); Benn McGrady (O’Neill Institute) and Alberto Alemanno (HEC Paris)


Day 2 - Comparative Regulatory Approaches

Day 2 will explore a number of regulatory approaches used to address NCDs across the risk factors of tobacco, alcohol and diet.

Session 1 – Packaging and Labeling Measures
This session will examine:

  • Best practice in packaging and labeling measures
  • A comparative examination of Article 11 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its implementation guidelines, Codex Alimentarius Commission Guidelines on Nutrition Labeling, Guidelines for Use of Nutrition and Health Claims and the General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Foods and the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol
  • An interactive discussion on the merits of graphic warnings on alcoholic beverages

Speaker: David Hammond (University of Waterloo) (via video-link); Benn McGrady (O’Neill Institute)

Session 2 – Restrictions on Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
This session will examine:

  • Best practice restrictions on advertising, promotion and sponsorship
  • A comparative examination of Article 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its implementation guidelines, the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol, WHO Recommendations on the Marketing of Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages to Children

Speakers: Katherine DeLand (WHO)

Lunchtime Talk - A View from Europe

Speaker: Alberto Alemanno (HEC Paris)

Session 3 – Tax and Price Measures
This panel will examine:

  • Best practices in tobacco taxation
  • A discussion of Article 6 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, and the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol
  • Constraints on the use of subsidies and discriminatory taxes under the law of the World Trade Organization

Speakers: Hana Ross (American Cancer Society), Benn McGrady (O’Neill Institute)

Session 4 – Product Regulation
This session will examine:

  • Product reformulation in the food and beverage industries
  • Articles 9 and 10 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and partial guidelines for their implementation
  • An interactive discussion on the regulation of emerging tobacco and nicotine products

Speakers: Godfrey Xuereb (WHO); Katherine DeLand (WHO)


Day 3 - Human Rights and NCDs

Day 3 will examine the relevance of human rights law to NCDs. Economic, social and cultural rights provide an important justification for government intervention to address NCDs. However, civil and political rights associated with individual liberty may restrain government intervention.

Session 1 – Using the Human Rights Framework to Address NCDs
The lecture will provide an introduction to:

  • Foundations of human rights principles and obligations for governments
  • Human rights mechanisms to justify and guide government intervention
  • Non-state actors and whether they bear any human rights obligations

Speakers: Oscar Cabrera (O’Neill Institute); Paula Avila Guillen (O’Neill Institute); Ana Ayala (O’Neill Institute)

Session 2 – The Challenges of Measuring Human Rights                                                       
The lecture will analyze:

  • What constitutes a human rights violation in the context of NCDs
  • How human rights violations can be measured
  • Benefits and challenges to measuring human rights      

Speaker: John Kraemer (Georgetown School of Nursing & Health Studies)

Session 3 – Childhood Obesity through a Human Rights Lens
This session will engage participants in an interactive exercise that explores:

  • Industry's impact on children's rights within the context of childhood obesity
  • Human rights-based legal strategies to justify government intervention in fighting childhood obesity
  • Human rights-based legal strategies to protect industry's competing interests

Speakers: Oscar Cabrera (O’Neill Institute); Paula Avila Guillen (O’Neill Institute); Ana Ayala (O’Neill Institute)

Session 4 - Access to Pain Medication
This panel will examine:

  • Introduction to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and its implications for access to pain medication
  • Recent developments at the international level concerning access to pain medication

Moderator: Alejandro Madrazo (CIDE) (to be confirmed)

Speakers: Allyn Taylor (O’Neill Institute); Jonathan Liberman (McCabe Centre on Law and Cancer)(via video-link)


Day 4 - Trade, Investment and NCDs

Day 4 will examine the restraints that international trade and investment agreements impose on domestic regulation in the context of NCDs. These restraints have been highlighted by recent disputes, such as legal challenges to plain packaging of tobacco products at the World Trade Organization and under a bilateral investment treaty.  

Session 1 – Trade and NCDs: Basic Principles of Trade Policy and Law
This session will examine:

  • The impacts of trade and investment policies on exposure to risk factors for NCDs
  • The law and structure of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Principles of non-discrimination and necessity and how they have been invoked in disputes concerning restrictions on the sale of asbestos, measures to restrict the spread of dengue and alcohol tax measures

Speaker: Benn McGrady (O’Neill Institute)

Session 2 – Technical Regulations and Food Safety
This session will examine:

  • Application of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade by reference to the recent WTO dispute concerning the prohibition of clove flavored cigarettes and an ongoing dispute concerning plain packaging of tobacco products
  • Application of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures to food safety measures, including labeling measures and measures governing the content of foods and beverages

Speaker: Benn McGrady (O’Neill Institute)

Session 3 – Intellectual Property
This session will examine:

  • Rules governing protection of patent rights and their impact on access to medicines, drawing on examples relating to cancer drugs
  • Rules governing protection of trademark rights and their implications for packaging and labeling measures, such as plain packaging of tobacco products

 Speakers: Vivek Divan (UNDP); Benn McGrady (O’Neill Institute)

Session 4 – International Investment Law
This session will examine:

  • The basic structure and purposes of investment contracts and international investment agreements (IIAs)
  • The ways in which investment contracts and IIAs are used to tie the hands of regulators, including in a health context
  • How IIAs govern health measures, including by reference to recent claims made by Philip Morris against Uruguay and Australia
  • An interactive discussion of the merits of Philip Morris claims concerning plain packaging of tobacco products

Speaker / Moderator: Benn McGrady (O’Neill Institute)


Day 5 - NCDs and the Law: Where to from Here?

The final day of the summer program will focus on the normative question of what role law should play in efforts to address NCDs.

Session 1 – International Relations and Global Action on NCDs
This session will examine the potential role of international law in future efforts to address NCDs, including:

  • An explanation of why states created the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the functions it serves
  • An interactive discussion of the merits of new international legal instruments       

Speaker / Moderator: Benn McGrady (O’Neill Institute)

Session 2 – The Role of Self-Regulation and Public Private Partnerships
This panel will examine what role industry has in addressing NCDs, including:

  • The lessons learned through schemes of self-regulation in different jurisdictions
  • The merits of public-private-partnerships
  • An interactive discussion of the issues

Moderator: Oscar Cabrera (O’Neill Institute)

Speakers: Laurent Huber (Framework Convention Alliance); Lauren Dunning (RENEW Los Angeles County); Trevor Gunn (Medtronic)

Lunchtime Talk – The role of Physical Activity in Preventing NCDs

Speaker: Alan Morelli (OptimisCorp)

Session 3 – Open Forum for Unanswered Questions                          
This interactive session will provide a forum for:    

  • Participants to ask any unanswered questions
  • Discussion of the issues directed by participants

Moderators: Lawrence Gostin (O’Neill Institute); Oscar Cabrera (O’Neill Institute); Benn McGrady (O’Neill Institute)