Global Legal Epidemiology

Global legal epidemiology (GLE) is the scientific study of international law as a factor in the cause, distribution, and promotion of health around the world. It is an emerging field that aims to produce rigorous and impactful research on the international laws, policies and norms that shape our collective health, equity and well-being. 

GLE’s interdisciplinary research team leverages economic modeling, epidemiology, and policy evaluation to evaluate the effectiveness of international legal mechanisms and generate evidence in support of the development of future treaties.

Featured Projects

Most Existing International Treaties Do Not Work

How can policymakers make treaties more effective? With new treaties routinely called and drafted, it is imperative these instruments are evaluated for whether they serve their intended purpose. We use innovative global legal epidemiological methods to assess whether and under what conditions treaties are helpful in addressing global challenges. 

The WHO FCTC – Global Impact or Stagnation?

We know tobacco control policies are effective at the national level, but what role does international law play in combating the global tobacco epidemic? Evaluating the impacts of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is timely and necessary as it is the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO and one of the most important international laws governing global health.

Can Border Closures Control a Pandemic?

The rapid implementation of targeted and total border closures at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 spurred frustration and confusion amidst travelers and scientific advisory councils. Did these measures have an effect on slowing the circulation of the pandemic, and were they justified as a means to protect population health?