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Building legal capacity into an accelerated global NCD response

Wednesday 20 August 2014
Adoption of the Political Declaration on Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases in 2011 represented landmark acknowledgement of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as a major challenge for development in the 21st Century. Nearly three years later, outcomes of a recent United Nations review highlight the critical need to match ongoing global political commitment with strengthened capacity, including legal capacity, in accelerating a ‘whole-of-government’ and ‘whole-of-society’ response.

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control at 10: its power for global health and development in the 21st century

Wednesday 6 August 2014
In a guest blog for Edward Elgar, Jonathan Liberman explains that the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) carries great legal and political power for global health and development in the 21st century. Jonathan’s blog draws on his chapter The Power of the WHO FCTC: Understanding its Legal Status and Weight in the new book The Global Tobacco Epidemic and the Law, edited by Melbourne Law School Professors Andrew Mitchell and Tania Voon.

A global convention on healthy diets? Some lessons from the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

Thursday 22 May 2014
Consumers International and the World Obesity Federation have released a set of recommendations towards a Global Convention to protect and promote healthy diets. In an invited blog for Consumers International, Jonathan Liberman responds to the proposal, drawing lessons from the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Responding to the tobacco industry’s claims that plain packaging breaches international trade and investment law

Tuesday 20 May 2014
Last week, McCabe Centre Director Jonathan Liberman and Professors Mark Davison and Andrew Mitchell appeared before the Health Committee of the New Zealand Parliament, which is examining a Bill that would require tobacco products in New Zealand to be sold in plain packaging. They set out why they believe the Bill would not breach New Zealand’s obligations under WTO or international investment law. In this blog, they address some of the claims made by the tobacco industry in its submissions to the Committee.

Eating the Elephant in the Room

Wednesday 26 March 2014
As a participant in the McCabe Centre Intensive Legal Training Programme during February and March, I learned about important and pressing issues related to tobacco control, alcohol control, obesity, treatment and support for cancer, access to medicines, global action on NCDs, and international trade and investment.

Ad bans, labelling and taxes: exploring the intersection of law and public health in global efforts to prevent obesity

Wednesday 30 October 2013
What are the bases for developing and implementing laws for obesity prevention? Which levels of government are responsible? What is the role for public health evidence? And how can public health advocates respond to the efforts of opponents of legal approaches who simultaneously overplay gaps in evidence, the limits of legal authority, and technical barriers, with a view to delaying or stalling the use of law?

WTO dispute settlement as a training exercise?

Monday 14 October 2013
Simon Lacey, a Jakarta-based international trade-law practitioner, writes in the Jakarta Globe that he advised Indonesia to challenge Australia's plain packaging legislation in the WTO because it would be a good opportunity to build Indonesia's WTO dispute settlement experience - particularly because the tobacco industry would be footing the bill. We comment on Lacey's perspective and on his judgment that Australia's plain packaging is ‘almost certainly ... an act of regulatory over-reach' and ‘a silly political calculation'.

Waiting out the legal challenges to plain packaging - playing into the tobacco industry's hands?

Friday 4 October 2013
Nearly two years after the passage of Australia's plain packaging legislation, and ten months after it came fully into effect, the international legal challenges continue. Slowly. And the tobacco industry, which is directly pursuing one of the challenges and providing support to the others, is telling governments considering stronger tobacco control measures to wait until the challenges are resolved.

From Australia to Thailand - defending tobacco packaging laws against multinational tobacco industry lawsuits

Friday 27 September 2013
I had the great privilege of being in Bangkok, Thailand, last week to talk with public health and legal colleagues about Thailand's defence of lawsuits brought against it by the multinational tobacco industry.

Cancer Voices Australia v Myriad Genetics Inc: Reflections on a Patent Controversy

Wednesday 11 September 2013
Should human cancer disposing genes be considered patentable inventions? What exactly is an ‘invention'? What impact would this have on patient healthcare and cancer research? How does Australia's patent law system operate? These were some of the questions I had to consider when analysing the Federal Court of Australia's historic ruling on the practice of ‘gene patenting' in Cancer Voices Australia v Myriad Genetics Inc during my internship with the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, undertaken earlier this year in partnership with the Melbourne Law School.

Making the law work better for people affected by cancer: employment

Wednesday 4 September 2013
While many employers are supportive when an employee is affected by cancer, retaining, returning to, or finding new employment can be difficult for some people who have or have had cancer. 

Making the law work better for people affected by cancer: support for travel for treatment

Friday 19 April 2013
Across Australia, as geographical isolation increases, cancer care is less accessible. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the further from a metropolitan centre a person with cancer lives, the more likely they are to die within five years of diagnosis. For some cancers, those who live remotely are up to 300% more likely to die within five years of diagnosis. In the second blog of our series, we outline some of the challenges for people who need to travel long distances for cancer treatment.

Flagging down a cab or booking a chauffeur-driven limousine? Are we lowering the Bar?

Friday 5 April 2013
Under the cab rank rule, a barrister should not refuse a brief on the basis of the objectionableness of a potential client’s behaviour or character. The rule was the subject of a very interesting event we co-hosted last month, ‘Is it the end of the line for the cab rank rule?’, with Monash University’s Centre for Regulatory Studies on the occasion of the visit to Melbourne of UK Professor John Flood, who has recently published a paper, with Professor Morten Hviid, ‘The Cab Rank Rule: Its Meaning and Purpose in the New Legal Services Market’

Making the law work better for people affected by cancer: a McCabe Centre issues paper

Tuesday 2 April 2013
Whether we're consciously aware of it or not, the law influences how people make decisions about health care, treatment and support. This is no different for people affected by cancer.

McCabe Centre: one year on

Monday 4 February 2013
Today, World Cancer Day, marks a year since the McCabe Centre commenced operation - as good a time as any for us to enter the blogosphere. We'll be blogging on a wide range of law-and-cancer issues over the months and years ahead, and running contributions from guest bloggers. So, please keep an eye on this page, and feel free to send us suggestions.
Total 45 articles in this section.
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Recent Posts

Alumni in the Spotlight: Caroline

Friday 12 April 2019
Alumni in the Spotlight showcases one of our alumni; their work and their impact in advancing law to fight cancer. Introducing Caroline, a lecturer at Kenyatta University School of Law and a Member of the Kenya Tobacco Control Board.

Leaving no one behind: using law to achieve universal health coverage

Friday 5 April 2019
World Health Day is marked annually on 7 April and this year the theme is Universal Health Coverage (UHC), highlighting the urgent need for all people, including those affected by cancer, to have access to the quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.

Perspectives from Melbourne Law School interns

Thursday 28 March 2019
Our latest interns, Melissa and Eliza, share what motivates and interests them, what they did during their internship, and where they see themselves going in the future.

Thinking outside the box: Challenges to addressing air pollution as a NCD risk factor

Tuesday 29 January 2019
In the third and final Perspective of our air pollution series we consider the obstacles to regulation of air pollution as a non-communicable disease risk factor.

Thinking outside the box: Policies and regulatory measures to address air pollution

Friday 25 January 2019
This is the second Perspective in our series on air pollution where we examine the legal and regulatory measures available to governments to address air pollution.