Document Type


Publication Date

December 2004


public health


Published in the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, v. 32, no. 3, Fall 2004.


There is growing awareness that contemporary globalization has led to the proliferation of cross border determinants of health status and is undermining the capacity of nation states to protect health through domestic action alone. Consequently, globalization is creating a heightened need for new global health governance structures to promote coordinated intergovernmental action. This article seeks to contribute to the emerging discussion on global health governance by examining how globalization and the rising need for new global health governance structures is a driving force behind the expansion of conventional international health law. The article considers whether the present international institutional framework is adequate and appropriate to meet the emerging global health law governance needs of the world community and whether leadership by the World Health Organization could strengthen global coordination and effective implementation of future developments in this rapidly evolving domain of international legal concern.