International Investment Law and Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention

Organisers:     Law & NCD Unit, School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool

Dates:              10 & 11 May 2018

Venue:             University of Liverpool London Campus, 33 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1AG

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide. Since the first UN High Level Meeting on NCDs in 2011, the international community has acknowledged the scope of the problem and undertaken to take coordinated and coherent action to reduce the burden of NCDs, including to reduce the availability, acceptability and affordability of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages and unhealthy food, by adopting marketing restrictions, labelling rules and fiscal measures.

Such measures, however, could give rise to expensive legal proceedings that foreign investors in tobacco, alcohol and food sectors, who are protected under international investment treaties, can bring against host states. Recent investment claims challenging tobacco control legislation in Australia and Uruguay highlight the relevance and timeliness of the need to explore how international investment law can affect state regulatory autonomy in designing and implementing measures for preventing NCDs.

The conference sets out to examine the relationship between the NCD prevention policies and international investment law by proposing to adopt an interdisciplinary viewpoint; we would particularly welcome contributions by lawyers and public health experts, as well as economists and specialists in trade and developments studies.

Confirmed guest speakers already include:

  • Professor Andrew Mitchell and Paula O’Brien (University of Melbourne)
  • Professor Charles-Emmanuel Côté (Laval University)
  • Professor Valentina Vadi (University of Lancaster)
  • Dr Caroline Henckels (University of Monash), and
  • Dr Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan (University of Cambridge).

If you are interested in presenting a paper at this conference, please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and a short biography by 15th March to Read the call for papers.

Similarly, if you would like to attend this conference, please email us: