Inter-Pandemic Vaccine Regulation: Justice and Global Equity

Oct 28, 2022
9:00am - 5:00pm

Each epidemic of a globally-distributed infectious disease is followed by what in political and social terms is often characterized as a post-pandemic phase, but which in terms of regulatory upgrading and planning must be understood as inter-pandemic. Drawing from experiences in prior epidemics and from Covid-19, and with specific attention on vaccines, outstanding scholars and policy leaders in global public health, intellectual property, and innovation law discussed regulatory approaches, policy tools, and new or refurbished institutions that should be established to ensure that more robust and equitable law and governance are in place ahead of the next pandemic. 

The conference inaugurated the Pauline Newman Program in Science, Technology and International Law at the Institute for International Law and Justice (IILJ).  The conference was organized collaboratively by the Journal for International Law and Politics‘ 28th Annual Herbert Rubin and Justice Rose Luttan Rubin International Law Symposium and the IILJ.

Location: Furman Hall, 245 Sullivan Street, 9th Floor (Lester Pollack Colloquium Room)

Date: October 28, 2022, 9:00am-5:30pm

Contact for questions: Anuja Chowdhury (

Download the PDF version of the program


9:00–9:05  Introductory Remarks

Troy McKenzie ’00, Dean and Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

9:05-9:10  Welcome from Herbert Rubin’42

(pre-recorded video)

9:10-9:30  Launch of the Pauline Newman Program in Science, Technology, and International Law

Rochelle Dreyfuss, Pauline Newman Professor of Law Emerita, New York University School of Law

Honorable Pauline Newman ’58, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

9:30-10:00  Keynote Address

Dr. Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija, WHO Special Envoy for the ACT-Accelerator, Co-Chair of the ACT Accelerator  & Chair of the African Union Africa Vaccine Delivery Alliance

with introduction by Benedict Kingsbury, Vice Dean and Murry and Ida Becker Professor of Law; Director, Institute for International Law and Justice; Faculty Director, Guarini Institute for Global Legal Studies, New York University School of Law

10:00-11:30  Vaccine Manufacturing & Development: Who, Where, and How?

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the advantages of enacting legal regimes that establish strong incentives to invent.  Effective vaccines were developed in record time thanks to the efforts and financial support of both private and public institutions. At the same time, however, the pandemic revealed the costs of the current legal order. Vaccines were allocated unequally and, in many instances, that allocation led to unjust distributional outcomes. Trade secrets and patents were invoked to protect critical information about vaccines, manufacturing processes, and clinical trial data.

 Taking account of the complex law and governance elements of vaccine innovation, development, production, authorization, and distribution, what are the pathways for improving distributional outcomes and correcting potential injustices?  What type of private arrangements and/or regulatory frameworks might be best suited for vaccine development, production, and promotion of more equitable distribution in future epidemics?


Rochelle Dreyfuss, Pauline Newman Professor of Law Emerita, New York University School of Law


Peter K. Yu, Regents Professor of Law and Communication and Director, Center for Law and Intellectual Property, Texas A&M University School of Law: “Vaccine Innovation and Development: China’s Present and Future Roles in the International Regulatory Framework”

Jorge Contreras, James T. Jensen Endowed Professor for Transactional University of Utah, College of Law: “Pathogenic Genomes as Global Public Goods: The Need for an International Ban on the Enclosure of Pathogenic Sequence Data”

Esther van Zimmeren, Associate Professor in Intellectual Property (IP) Law & Governance Faculty of Law of the University of Antwerp (remote): “Trusting or Distrusting Private Arrangements and Regulatory Framework for Vaccine Innovation and Development?”

11:30-11:50  Coffee Break

11:50-12:30  Public Conversation

Julia Spencer, New York University School of Law in conversation with

Heidi Larson, Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science and Founding Director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine  


Peter Piot, Handa Professor of Global Health and former Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; EU Chief Scientific Advisor Epidemics & Special Advisor on Covid-19 to the European Commission President

12:30-13:30  Lunch

13:30-15:00  Roundtable: Law and Policy of Global Transfers 

Access to biological specimen, genetic data, technology, and know-how is essential not only for reactive managing of pandemics but also for the creation of resilient and well-maintained health systems and infrastructures that can be used adaptively to manage future detection, surveillance, and containment of viruses with pandemic potential.

The roundtable will discuss questions such as: What type of transfers, and to whom, are necessary for global management of pandemics? What role do law and legal technologies play in enabling (or impeding) such transfers and in maintaining and sustaining institutions that would make productive use of the transferred materials, data and expertise?


Margo Bagley, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research, Emory University School of Law


Ana Santos Rutschman, Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law: “Vaccine Contracts for Pandemic Preparedness and Response”

 Salome Viljoen, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School: “Vaccine production knowledge transfer: what role for data governance?”

Rebecca Grais, Executive Director, Pasteur Network (remote)

Nicholson Price, Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School: “Infrastructure for transfers of manufacturing information and know-how for vaccines and other products”

15:00-15:30  Coffee Break

15:30-17:00  Roundtable: Colonialism and Postcolonialism in Pandemic Law & Governance

Historic practices and paths for pandemic governance, informed by colonial and postcolonial dynamics, have contributed to structural and systemic inequities in pandemic governance. How can lessons from development of, and contestation over, vaccines in the past (e.g., smallpox) inform our pathways forward? What role can law, information, misinformation, digital communication technologies, as a well as a range of human-centered responses (e.g., rights, distrust associated with historic mistreatment of marginalized groups by scientific and medical professions, etc.) play in mediating complex relationships inter-states as well as between states and their constituents? What mechanisms, which institutions, and which scales of governance might be most effective in achieving equity and justice in the context of inter-pandemic governance?


César Rodríguez Garavito, Professor of Clinical Law and Faculty Director and Chair of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, New York University School of Law

José Enrique Alvarez, Herbert and Rose Rubin Professor of International Law, New York University School of Law


Sharifah Sekalala, Professor of Global Health Law, University of Warwick  

Katarina Sydow, Senior Research Scholar, New York University School of Law 

Jack Jin Gary Lee, Assistant Professor of Sociology, The New School for Social Research (presenting work co-authored with Lynette J. Chua, National University of Singapore Faculty of Law)

Tahir Amin, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK)

Navya Dasari, IILJ Joyce Lowinson Scholar, Furman Public Policy Scholar, New York University School of Law

17:00  Concluding remarks

Young G. Park, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of International Law and Politics, New York University Journal of International Law & Politics


Poster presentation

Posters with topical scholarly work by NYU Law students were on display: