Law School Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Law and Global Health
Code LAW522
Coordinator Dr AJ Cahill-Ripley
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 7 FHEQ Second Semester 20


Law and Global Health seeks to:
- introduce students to the legal, social, political, economic and ethical issues that arise within the area of global health;
- engage students in the concept of public health and human rights and the role of law in regulating health, protecting and promoting health and remedying health failures;
- demonstrate the importance and relevance of this area of law through analysis of challenges to global health such as pandemics, air pollution and climate change, non-communicable diseases, humanitarian disasters and the impact of conflict.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to identify and consider key concepts and approaches to global health such as ‘public health’, ‘the human right to health’ and 'global health governance'

(LO2) Students will be able to identify and critically evaluate key institutions and mechanisms concerned with global health governance.

(LO3) Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the relevant social, political, philosophical, and cultural contexts within which States regulate global health.

(LO4) Students will be able to identify and critically evaluate key challenges and contemporary issues in law and global health such as inequalities and social determinants of health; environmental issues; health security and threats to global health.

(LO5) Students will be able to evaluate the role of global health law as a part wider international law and governance.

(S1) Teamwork and Collaborative Learning: developed through seminar tasks

(S2) Problem-solving and Application of sources and knowledge to real-life scenarios: developed through preparation for seminar tasks

(S3) Critical thinking and Research skills: developed through self-directed learning tasks and application in seminars

(S4) Oral Communication skills enabling students to deliver a coherent and logical oral argument: developed through seminar interactions, whole class work, group work, individual presentations

(S5) Written communication skills enabling students to produce a coherent and well-structured written argument utilising conventions applicable to scholarly writing

(S6) Independent learning developed through general course participation and regular attendance; seminar and summative assessment preparation



The module will cover a number of topics: the following list is indicative and allows for variation year upon year to accommodate staff changes and contemporary topical developments:

Part I Theoretical and Philosophical Underpinnings, Historical Origins:
• What is Global Health Law? An introduction to Law and Global Health – Scope, Definition and Functions (History of Global Health; Theoretical and Conceptual Approaches to Global Health; Public Health; Human Rights; Health as Development)

Part II Approaches to the Governance of Global Health: Institutions

• Global Health Governance – The World Health Organisation (WHO) and related international institutions (ILO, UNICEF).
• Trade, Investment and Global Health: The Impact of Bretton Woods Institutions and Neoliberal Economic Policy (The IMF, WB, WTO)

• The Role of Civil Society in Global Health Governance: NGOs; Grassroots Activism and Health

Part III Approaches to the Governance of Global Health: The Human Right to Health
• The Human Right to Health and the OHCHR.
• Special Protections ‘Vulnerability’ and Health (Women/vulnerable groups & right to health)
• Justiciability and Global Health – Monitoring; Adjudication and Remedies
Part IV Contemporary Threats to Global Health and Law’s Response
• Global Health Security - Pandemics: AIDS; Ebola
• Environmental Protection and Global Health - The Right to a Healthy Environment; Air Quality, Climate Change
• Non-Communicable Diseases and Health Hazards: Tobacco; Alcohol; Drugs; Obesity; Diabetes; Heart Disease
• The Impact of Context on Global Health: Poverty; Conflict; Disasters and Emergencies
• Social Determinants of Health – Inequality and Global Health: Intersectionality; Class; Gender; Race
• Global Health and the Sustainable Development Goals – a response to the most pressing health challenges?

Conclusion: Evaluation:
• What Role for Law? Reconceptualising Global Health Law

The Module Handbook will make it clear exactly what areas will be covered in any given year so as to enable to module to focus on emerging disputes or areas of interest. All key learning resources, e.g. seminar questions and reading lists, will be accessed via VITAL.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Proposed that the module runs according to the same seminar pattern as 2019-20. This means asynchronous materials are prepared and given in advance of the two hour, weekly seminar.
The weekly seminar can either take place online or in a face-to-face setting, depending on the circumstances.

Seminars will be synchronous (either face-to-face or online) and will work on the assumption that students have completed their assigned reading tasks in advance (from asynchronous material provided in advance).

Asynchronous material
Canvas will be used to provide asynchronous materials weekly in advance of the weekly seminar (which will be online or face to face).

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   22

Timetable (if known)   120 mins X 1 totaling 22
Private Study 178


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
10% Coursework Plan (1000 words max)  -1000 words    10       
Coursework (3000 words max) NB Resit is based upon 100% essay alone.  -3000 words    90       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Other Staff Teaching on this Module


Modules for which this module is a pre-requisite:


Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Co-requisite modules:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on a required basis:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on an optional basis:


Additional Programme Information