Summer Program on Global Health Law and Governance: Non-Communicable Diseases and the Law

June 17-21, 2013
Georgetown University Law Center
Washington, DC

As global efforts to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are accelerating, complexity is increasing and the importance of law is becoming more apparent. Understanding the powers, duties and constraints created by law is now essential not only for lawyers, but also for officials and advocates working on NCDs.

The O’Neill Institute Summer Program on NCDs and the Law will take a global approach to the issues, while also drawing upon case studies from domestic law. Participants will enhance their understanding of the global burden of NCDs, contemporary developments at the international level, international instruments governing NCDs, best practice regulation, the intersection of human rights and NCDs and the intersection of trade, investment and NCDs.


Monday, June 17: Introduction to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
Day 1 will provide an introduction to global health law and an overview of the NCD burden.

Tuesday, June 18: Comparative Regulatory Approaches
Day 2 will explore a number of regulatory approaches used to address NCDs, including packaging and labeling measures; restrictions on marketing, advertising and sponsorship; and taxation measures.

Wednesday, June 19: 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. Civil and political rights associated with individual liberty may also restrain government intervention.

Thursday, June 20: 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.

Friday, June 21: NCDs and the Law: Where to from Here?
The final day of the summer program will focus primarily on the normative question of what role law should play in efforts to address NCDs. The role of self-regulation and public-private partnerships will also be examined.

For more information about the O’Neill Institute Summer Program on Global Health Law and Governance: NCDs and the Law, please email

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