Overcoming the 'Soft vs Hard Law' Debate in the Development of New Global Health Instruments
Opinio Juris 2021 (https://opiniojuris.org/)
4 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2022
Date Written: November 30, 2021
This contribution begins with a thorough analysis of the use of soft and hard law in the realm of global health law. It then argues that rather than focusing on the a priori debate on which of the two approaches is better suited to tackle global health challenges, in the development of new global health instruments more attention should be paid to: a) how soft and hard law can interact with each other; and b) how to foster respect for the norms, irrespective of whether they are legally binding. In the latter regard, capacity-building, compliance mechanisms and engagement with non-State actors should be given due consideration.
Keywords: Hard law, Soft law, Global Health Law, World Health Organization, Pandemic treaty, International Health Regulations, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
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