University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review


This article presents comments by the author made to open the Miami Law Review conference on Epidemics1 and International Law.2 Its main purpose is to refer to the impact of COVID-19 on different norms and legal regimes, focusing mainly on the 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR), addressing areas of reform as well as the interactions of those norms with international human rights law. This will include the proposals of change for the 2005 IHR, designed to better protect vulnerable peoples in future global health crises. Some of the ideas presented in this contribution are included in a proposal that I have presented with a colleague from Sierra Leone, Professor Charles Jalloh, for consideration by the International Law Commission, on epidemics and international law. Additionally, I was appointed as a member of the Committee on Epidemics and International Law for the Institute of International Law (IDI), whose rapporteur was Shinya Murase. Both his contributions and leadership, as well as the discussion in the committee, are of great influence on this topic. The exchanges in this conference, and to a certain extent captured in this publication, could have an impact in the proposal that is designed to strengthen our response before, during, and after epidemics whose impact on human life cannot be exaggerated.