Innovative Use of the Law to Address Complex Global Health Problems; Comment on “The Legal Strength of International Health Instruments - What It Brings to Global Health Governance?”

Document Type: Commentary

Authors

Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

Abstract

Addressing the increasingly globalised determinants of many important problems affecting human health is a complex task requiring collective action. We suggest that part of the solution to addressing intractable global health issues indeed lies with the role of new legal instruments in the form of globally binding treaties, as described in the recent article of Nikogosian and Kickbusch. However, in addition to the use of international law to develop new treaties, another part of the solution may lie in innovative use of existing legal instruments. A 2015 court ruling in The Hague, which ordered the Dutch government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% within five years, complements this perspective, suggesting a way forward for addressing global health problems that critically involves civil society and innovative use of existing domestic legal instruments.

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