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Law's role in the global response to HIV/AIDS



3 November 2010

Law's Role in the Global Response to HIV/AIDS
Law's Role in the Global Response to HIV/AIDS

On Thursday 28 October, the Centre for Health Governance, Law & Ethics and the Sydney Centre for International Law jointly co-hosted an oration titled Law's Role in the Global Response to HIV/AIDS featuring David Patterson, Manager of the HIV & Health Law Program at the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO) in Rome.

Mr Patterson's paper reviewed the principal international instruments through which international commitment to the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS has been expressed, ending with the formation of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. (Former High Court Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG is a member of the Commission, which will report at the end of 2011). In his paper, David Patterson reviewed wins and losses in the global governance of HIV, and discussed implications for other challenges in health development, including non-communicable disease.

David Patterson
David Patterson

David Patterson has had a varied career in international health development. During the late 1980s, David worked at the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations and was an author of two editions of the Australian HIV/AIDS Legal Guide. In 1992, David co-founded the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, before moving to New York and working with UN AIDS and UNDP to support HIV-related law and policy reform and implementation in the Caribbean, East Africa, and South East Asia. Since 2009, David has managed the HIV and Health Law Program at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) in Rome, Italy, from where he is working to strengthen and expand legal services for people living with HIV and vulnerable groups (http://www.idlo.int/hivhealthlaw).

John Rock
John Rock

Mr John Rock, an advisor to the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV, gave the response to David's paper, drawing attention to the ongoing difficulty of obtaining HIV/AIDS medicines at affordable prices for people living with HIV, and to the difficulties of navigating World Trade Organisation agreements including TRIPS (the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property). Following a consultancy career based in London, New York and Sydney John has, since 2000, re-focused his career towards assisting positive groups in Asia and the Pacific to advocate for their right to treatment, care and support. John is also Chair of the Board of AFAP (Australian Foundation for Peoples of Asia and the Pacific) a development NGO based in Sydney.

Julie Hamblin
Julie Hamblin

The Oration was chaired by Julie Hamblin, a partner in the Health Group of HWL Ebsworth. Remarkably for a practising solicitor, Julie has also maintained a career spanning 20 years in health development, working with the United Nations Development Programme and other UN bodies on HIV policy issues in more than 20 countries in Asia, the Pacific, Africa and Eastern Europe.

Studying health law and public health law at the University of Sydney

For those with an interest in health law, Sydney Law School offers a popular Master of Health Law (MHL), and two Graduate Diplomas, in Health Law, and in Public Health Law, respectively. Entry to these programs is open to law graduates, health and allied health professionals and other approved applicants who meet academic entry requirements. United on offer in 2011 include Critical Issues in Public Health Law, and Global Health Law (taught by Professor Lawrence Gostin, Georgetown University USA).

More information about the Master of Health Law Program

More information about the Centre for Health Governance, Law & Ethics

More information about the Master of International Law Program

More information about the Sydney Centre for International Law


Contact: Professor Roger Magnusson

Phone: +61 2 9351 0211

Email: 35561601135d0b505f374037073d5d381933153c3c2a1b0655194b531b