ILC Discussion: Responsibilities of State Actors in Pandemic Preparedness and Response


The threat posed by novel viruses and the complexities of pandemic disaster response precipitate the occasion to reflect upon the duties and obligations of states, whose responses are guided by legal frameworks pertaining to responsibility for measures to protect the life and health of populations within and, in certain contexts, outside of their borders.
UN International Law Commission member panelists will engage in a fecund exploratory dialogue considering various aspects of the responsibilities and duties of governments in pandemic context with respect to pandemic preparedness and response, through reflections upon various sources of law governing duties, responsibility and remedy.

Discussion may include:

  • What is the existing international legal framework to deal with State responsibility in the event of a pandemic?
  • What are the challenges concerning foreseeable barriers in the context of jurisdiction and fora to implement the international responsibility in case of a pandemic?
  • What are some responsibilities and duties that may exist in the context of a pandemic preparedness and response?
  • What legal considerations may pertain in the context of vaccine distribution between and among states and among different populations? Are vaccines a global public good?
  • What principles come into consideration with respect to restrictions of rights in the context of COVID-19 public health measures?

Panelist Members of the International Law Commission: Patricia Galvao Teles, Claudio Grossman, Charles Chernor Jalloh

Moderator: Jose E. Alvarez

Date and Location

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 1:00pm to 2:45pm