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The Right to Health: Legal Content through Supranational Monitoring

Lougarre, CMV; (2016) The Right to Health: Legal Content through Supranational Monitoring. Doctoral thesis , (UCL) University College London. Green open access

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Abstract

Whilst economic, social and cultural rights benefit from a better protection worldwide than when they were first recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, they remain criticised for being too vague and, thus, not legally enforceable. This is particularly relevant to the right to health, since it embraces complex ethical, economic and legal issues often calling into question its substance. Such criticisms, nonetheless, threaten its implementation: how can key actors contribute to realising a right of which they do not understand the meaning? This thesis, therefore, aims at clarifying what the human right to health entails, and will focus on how this can be done through supranational monitoring. Mandated to supervise the implementation of human rights instruments, supranational human rights bodies (SNHRBs) embody the most authoritative interpretation of the right to health. When evaluating whether or not states comply with their obligations and when justifying why, SNHRBs effectively delineate the legal content of this right. Therefore, this thesis will analyse how SNHRBs contribute to clarifying the legal content of the right to health in the course of their quasi-judicial monitoring procedures, and how their interpretation can be optimised for that purpose. I will particularly study the interpretation of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (United Nations) and the European Committee of Social Rights (Council of Europe), for they are the most illustrative of how supranational monitoring of the right to health feeds into its substance, and vice versa. Such comparative analysis will enable me to develop a theoretical account assisting SNHRBs in interpreting the legal content of the right to health more clearly, to highlight ‘best practice’, and to discuss compatibility between universal and regional standards. As a result, this thesis lies primarily in international human rights law but will also involve aspects of public international law and, modestly, public health.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The Right to Health: Legal Content through Supranational Monitoring
Event: University College London, Faculty of Laws
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: human rights law, right to health, economic, social and cultural rights, supranational monitoring, United Nations, Council of Europe
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474052
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