[A2k] "A Human Rights Approach to Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines" - GHJP report launched

Kapczynski, Amy amy.kapczynski at yale.edu
Mon Sep 9 11:43:47 PDT 2013


Hi all -

The Yale GHJP has just released a new report that may be of interest to those on this list. The report, "A Human Rights Approach to Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines,"  addresses whether and how human rights norms and frameworks can be used to improve access to medicines by reducing the barriers that intellectual property laws create to such access.  More information is below, and thanks to the many activists and experts who supported the students' work.

(more from the press release – at http://bit.ly/1akQHiA)
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“The report demonstrates that courts are beginning to understand that intellectual property rights cannot be interpreted and protected in a vacuum; they must be read co-extensively with other, more fundamental rights, such as the right to health. We hope that the report helps activists and lawyers to make more effective use of human rights law to improve access to medicines. More specifically, we hope this paper spurs the development of more detailed litigation strategies that can be used in nations that respect the right to health,” said Hannah Brennan (YLS ’13), one of the report’s authors.

A leading international lawyer and IP expert, Carlos Correa, said: “Human rights, once seen as a diffuse ideal, are becoming a concrete and effective tool to mitigate the impact of intellectual property rights in the area of public health. This report shows an interesting evolution from the concept that States have the right to use TRIPS flexibilities to the idea that they have a duty to do so under their human rights obligations, as well as how these obligations have been enforced by national courts in cases where access to medicines was at stake. The report provides useful insights on ways in which governments, NGOs and the private sector can contribute to move human rights from concept to practice.”
<snip>

Please share widely!

Best
Amy

"A Human Rights Approach to Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines"
Yale Global Health Justice Partnership Policy Paper 1, September 2013
Lead Authors: Hannah Brennan (JD 2013); Rebecca Distler (MPH 2013); Miriam Hinman (JD 2015); Alix Rogers (JD 2015)
Access the full paper at http://bit.ly/185B54i
Executive Summary in French: http://bit.ly/18Jscty
Executive Summary in Spanish: http://bit.ly/15QMyhl
This paper, the result of a project of the Yale Global Health Justice Clinic, addresses whether and how human rights norms and frameworks can be used to improve access to medicines by reducing the barriers that intellectual property laws create to such access.
It evaluates the feasibility and usefulness of four human rights-based strategies that medicines activists suggested might be particularly productive:
(1) the use of human rights arguments in domestic court cases that deal with intellectual property laws,
(2) the articulation of more concrete and specific human rights norms in the United Nations human rights system,
(3) the use of human rights arguments and frameworks to secure greater pharmaceutical corporate accountability, and
(4) the use of health-related rights to build multilateral and regional alliances that can more effectively oppose free trade agreements (FTAs) with TRIPS-plus provisions.
The paper provides background that should be helpful for activists interested in each strategy. It concludes that human rights arguments could be developed in ways that could help promote access, in particular through the use of human rights arguments in IP-related court cases at the national level.
The paper also concludes with several appendices that are intended as resources for activists working on these issues.  One gathers the most important recent domestic court cases in the area and describes their key holdings; another describes the most important international human rights documents and standards relevant to IP and A2M; and a third offers clarification on the evolution of principles of corporate obligations to respect human rights. (Access to a Dropbox that includes all of the listed resources is also available on request.)

For more on GHJP:
http://www.YaleGHJP.org



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