Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow Public Lecture - 1.09.2022

Event details

'Reforming Global Governance to Manage Pandemics of the Future'

Presented by Professor Gian Luca Burci.

The 2022 Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow Lecture

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed flaws in the legal and institutional frameworks for preventing and responding to the spread of diseases. COVID-19 has tested many fields of international law and policy from health, human rights, and trade, to transport and financial stability. The COVID-19 disruption has generated discussions about the need for stronger legal tools for pandemic prevention and containment, including through the World Health Organization (WHO). It has led us to rethink how life-saving medical interventions including vaccines are developed, manufactured, and allocated. The pandemic’s impact has demonstrated the need to develop global mechanisms to guarantee financing for critical public health and medical interventions. This lecture provided a unique opportunity to hear from one of the world’s leading global health law experts, Gian Luca Burci, on the crucial issues that must be addressed at the international level.

Prof. Sharon Lewin (Director, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity) and Prof. Alison Duxbury (Deputy Dean, Melbourne Law School) acted as panel discussants.

This lecture was co-hosted with the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.

About the Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship

The Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Program enables overseas scholars of international distinction to make an extended visit to the University and contribute to the University’s academic, intellectual, and cultural life. The Fellowships are awarded annually, following an application and selection process that begins with nominations from the University of Melbourne Faculties.

The Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Program arose from a recommendation by the Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Fund Committee - the body responsible for the management of the Russell Grimwade bequest.

Sir Russell Grimwade was an industrial chemist by training and a man of wide-ranging interests, including forestry, native timbers, and printing, and was the author of two books. He was a member of the University Council for 20 years from 1935, including a period as Deputy Chancellor.

Miegunyah (a word from an Aboriginal language, possibly Dharuk (Sydney), that includes the meaning ‘house’) was the Grimwades’ home from 1911 to 1955. Both Miegunyah and Sir Russell’s art collections were bequeathed to the University of Melbourne in his will of 1949 and presented to the University after the death of Lady Grimwade in 1972. The art collection is housed in The Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University Archives, and the Baillieu Library.

Gian Luca Burci is an Adjunct Professor of international law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva since 2012. He is also the Director of the joint LLM on Global Health Law and Governance between the Graduate Institute and Georgetown Law School, as well as an Academic Adviser in the Global Health Centre of the Graduate Institute.

Since 2016, Prof. Burci is Visiting Professor and Senior Scholar at the O’Neill Center on National and Global Health Law,  Georgetown University School of Law.

Before his appointment at the Graduate Institute, Gian Luca Burci served in the Legal Office of the World Health Organization from 1998 to 2016 and was its Legal Counsel from 2005 to 2016. Professor Burci previously worked in the Department of International Cooperation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (1998-1999) and the Office of the Legal Counsel of the United Nations, where he was designated focal point for UN economic sanctions (1989-1998). During his service in WHO, he was involved in the negotiation and implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the revision and implementation of the International Health Regulations, WHO’s response to the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic, and the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak as well as the institutional aspects of WHO reform.

Prof. Burci holds a postgraduate degree in law from the University of Genova, Italy. His areas of expertise are public international law, the law, and practice of international organizations as well as global health governance and law. His courses at the Graduate Institute include the law and practice of international organizations, international legal advising and advocacy, and global health law. Prof. Burci is the co-author of the leading English book on WHO, editor of the first research collection on global health law, co-editor of the first research handbook on global health law, and author of numerous articles and book chapters. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Organization Law Review and the co-founder of the Interest Group on International Health Law of the European Society of International Law.