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Toebes, Dr Brigit

Brigit Toebes
Brigit Toebes

Brigit Toebes (1969) is a Professor of Health Law in a Global Context. She studied law in Utrecht, where she obtained her PhD in 1998 at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights. She subsequently worked as a legal researcher at the T.M.C. Asser Institute, the Netherlands Council of State in The Hague, and as a lecturer in Copenhagen and at the University of Aberdeen. In 2012 she joined the Department of International Law of the University of Groningen, where she was appointed Associate Professor and Rosalind Franklin Fellow in 2013. She is also a legal advisor to the World Health Organization.

Toebes specializes in public international law, human rights law and health law. Her research focuses on the role that international law can play in addressing a range global health concerns. To facilitate this aim, she is involved in the design and definition of international health law, a new branch of public international law. She recently set up Global Health Law Groningen.
In 2016 she was awarded € 300,000 by the Dutch Cancer Society to investigate how legislation and policy can contribute to reducing smoking in Europe, particularly among children. In 2107 Toebes was asked to advise Dainius PÅ«ras, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, on health sector corruption and the right to health.

Previously in the news

Article for NOS
Article for NOS


Toebes, B. (2021). Gezondheid als mensenrecht: Overpeinzingen in het licht van de coronacrisis. Ars Aequi, 70(3), 225-233. [AA20210225].
Mierau, J. O., & Toebes, B. C. A. (2021). Streefwaarden voor de volksgezondheid. TSG: Tijdschrift voor Gezondheidswetenschappen.


Toebes, B., Hesselman, M., Mierau, J. O., & van Dijk, J. P. (2020). A renewed call for transdisciplinary action on NCDs. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 20(1), [22].
Toebes, B., & Burris, S. (2020, Mar 7). Brieven. NRC Handelsblad.
Toebes, B. (2020). Conclusions. In M. E. Gispen, & B. Toebes (Eds.), Human Rights and Tobacco Control (pp. 266-275). (Elgar Studies in Health and the Law). Edward Elgar Publishing.
Toebes, B. (2020). Covid-19 puts the spotlight on international law and Human Rights. In J. Lammersma, & I. Faghihi (Eds.), Conquering Complexity: Perspectives on COVID-19 (pp. 45-47). (The TEIMUN Journal; Vol. 2020, No. 1). TEIMUN.
Toebes, B. (2020, Jul 22). COVID-19 uitbraak is zaak van internationaal recht en mensenrechten. Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
Toebes, B. (2020). De Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie: het beste wat we hebben. De Hofvijver, 10(107).
Faber, T., Breunis, L. J., Been, J. V., & Toebes, B. (2020). Een rookvrije omgeving in het belang van het kind. TSG: Tijdschrift voor Gezondheidswetenschappen, 98(1), 50-54.
Toebes, B., & Friedrich, A. W. (2020). Grijp nóg fermer in om corona in te dammen. NRC Handelsblad.
Toebes, B., & Patterson, D. (2020). Human rights and Non-Communicable Diseases: Controlling Tobacco and Promoting Healthy Diets. In L. O. Gostin, & B. M. Meier (Eds.), Foundations of Global Health & Human Rights Oxford University Press.
Gispen, M. E., & Toebes, B. (Eds.) (2020). Human Rights and Tobacco Control. (Elgar Studies in Health and the Law). Edward Elgar Publishing.
Toebes, B. (2020). I. Verplichte vaccinatie als serieuze handelingsoptie. Rechtsgeleerd Magazijn Themis, 2020(3), 142-145.
Garde, A., & Toebes, B. (2020). Is there a European human rights approach to tobacco control? In M. E. Gispen, & B. Toebes (Eds.), Human Rights and Tobacco Control (pp. 80-97). (Elgar Studies in Health and the Law). Edward Elgar Publishing.
Toebes, B. (2020, Jul 23). Nood boven wet? Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
Tach, C. L., Toebes, B., & Feriato, J. M. F. (2020). OBSTETRIC VIOLENCE: A WOMEN’S HUMAN AND PERSONALITY RIGHTS VIOLATION. Revista Jurídica, 1(58), 187-206.
Toebes, B. C. A. (2020). Preventie is niet vrijblijvend: Over het preventie-oeuvre van Jos Dute . Tijdschrift voor Gezondheidsrecht, 44(3), 227-235.
Toebes, B. (2020). Socioeconomic Health Inequalities in Europe: The Role of Law and Human Rights. In D. Orentlicher, & T. Hervey (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Health Law (Oxford handbooks online). Oxford University Press.
Toebes, B. (2020). States’ Resilience to Future Health Emergencies: Connecting the Dots between Core Obligations and Core Capacities . ESIL Reflections, 9(2).
Toebes, B., Forman, L., & Bartolini, G. (2020). Toward Human Rights-Consistent Responses to Health Emergencies: What Is the Overlap between Core Right to Health Obligations and Core International Health Regulation Capacities? Health and Human Rights, 22(2), 99-112.


Toebes, B., & Sluijs, J-K. (2019). Farmabedrijven moeten naar maatschappelijke zorgplicht handelen. Het Financieele dagblad.
Patterson, D., Buse, K., Magnusson, R., & Toebes, B. (2019). Identifying a human rights–based approach to obesity for States and civil society. Obesity Reviews, 20(S2), 45-56.
Toebes, B. (2019). Law in the time of chronic disease. University of Groningen. Faculty of Law.
Toebes, B. (2019, Sep 30). Niet langer roken op straat of in de auto?
Toebes, B. C. A., Gispen, M. E. C., Dietvorst, R., de Coninck, P. J. M., & Dute, J. C. J. (2019). Ongezond gedrag: de rol van het recht: Preadvies VGR 2019. (Pre-advies Vereniging voor Gezondheidsrecht ). Sdu Uitgevers.
Toebes, B. (2019). Prikken voor elkaar: Kinderopvang en vaccinatie: een zorg van overheid en maatschappij. Commissie kinderopvang en vaccinatie.
Toebes, B. (2019). Recht in tijden van chronische ziekten. University of Groningen. Faculty of Law.
Gispen, M. E., & Toebes, B. (2019). The Human Rights of Children in Tobacco Control. Human rights quarterly, 41(2), 340-373.
Buse, K., Patterson, D., Magnusson, R., & Toebes, B. (2019, Oct 30). Urgent call for human rights guidance on diets and food systems. BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP.


Toebes, B. (2018, Aug 31). Australië, neutrale sigarettenverpakkingen en de Wereldhandelsorganisatie.
Gispen, M. E., Hesselman, M., & Toebes, B. (2018). De rol en potentie van het internationaal recht in het reguleren van ongezond gedrag: mogelijke aanvullende internationale standaarden omtrent (on)gezond voedsel en alcohol in het licht van tabaksontmoediging. In A. L. M. Keirse, R. S. B. Kool, & R. Ortlep (Eds.), Ongezond en (on)geoorloofd : Publiek- en privaatrecht & legale maar gezondheidsbedreigende producten en diensten (pp. 237). (Utrecht Centre for Accountability and Liability Law (UCALL); Vol. 13). Boom Juridische uitgevers.
Toebes, B. (2018). Global Health Law: Defining the Field. In G. L. Burci, & B. Toebes (Eds.), Research Handbook on Global Health Law (pp. 2-23). (Research Handbooks on Globalisation and the Law ). Edward Elgar Publishing.
Toebes, B. (2018, Jan 30). Het belang van mensen voorop bij de bescherming van de gezondheid.
Toebes, B. (2018). Human Rights and the Tobacco Industry: An Unsuitable Alliance. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 7(7), 677-677.
Toebes, B. (2018, Apr 5). Laten we praten over de suikertaks: Let's talk about the sugar tax.
't Hoen, E. F. M., Veraldi, J., Toebes, B., & Hogerzeil, H. (2018). Medicine procurement and the use of flexibilities in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, 2001–2016. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 96(3), 185-193.
Sluijs, J-K., & Toebes, B. (2018). Mensenrechten verplichten farmabedrijf transparant te zijn over prijzen. Het Financieele dagblad.
Burci, G. L., & Toebes, B. (2018). Preface. In G. L. Burci, & B. Toebes (Eds.), Research handbook on global health law (pp. xiii-xiii). Edward Elgar Publishing.
Toebes, B., & Abbott, F. M. (2018). Report of the 78th Conference International Law Association. Report of the Global health law Committee: International Law Association. Report of the Global health law Committee. International Law Association.
Burci, G. L., & Toebes, B. (Eds.) (2018). Research Handbook on Global Health Law. (Research Handbooks on Globalisation and the Law). Edward Elgar Publishing.
Toebes, B. (2018, Jan 2). Tabaksbeleggingen van het ABP op gespannen voet met internationale standaarden.
Toebes, B. (2018). The Global Health Crisis: Ethical Responsibilities, Thana Cristina de Campos. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. Ethics & International Affairs, 32(1), 124-126.
Toebes, B. (2018). The interaction between global and domestic health law. Paper presented at U4 SSEL Cluster Conference on 'Current Challenges for a Sustainable Future', Goettingen, Germany.
Karapetian, G., & Toebes, B. (2018). The Legal Enforceability of Articles 8.2 and 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: The Case of the Netherlands. Brill Open Law, 1-13.
Toebes, B., & Villarreal, P. (2018, Sep 1). The WTO Plain Packaging Reports: Some Reflections.
Toebes, B. (2018, Jan 30). Video on Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health.
Toebes, B., & Hylkema, M. (2018, Oct 9). Will Groningen be the first city to ban smoking altogether? Groningen rookvrij: op naar een rookvrije stad?


Toebes, B., Gispen, M. E., Been, J. V., & Sheikh, A. (2018). A missing voice: the human rights of children to a tobacco-free environment. Tobacco Control, 27(1), 3-5.
Hesselman, M., & Toebes, B. (2018). Adopting New International Health Instruments - What Can We Learn From the FCTC? Comment on “The Legal Strength of International Health Instruments - What It Brings to Global Health Governance?”. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 7(3), 264-267.
Toebes, B., Hesselman, M., van Dijk, J. P., & Herman, J. (2017). Curbing the lifestyle disease pandemic: making progress on an interdisciplinary research agenda for law and policy interventions. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 17, [25].
Toebes, B. (2017, Jul 25). Euthanasia in the Netherlands: a slippery slope?
Toebes, B. (2017, Mar 3). Grand challenges for global health law: from ebola, to cancer and diabetes.
Gispen, M. E., & Toebes, B. (2017). Kinderrechten voor een rookvrije omgeving: Interne beleidsnotitie. Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
Hendriks, A. C. A., & Toebes, B. C. A. (2017). Moet ik mijn patient wijzen op de gevaren van roken? Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 161, [D1869].
Toebes, B., & Puras, D. (2017). Right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health: note. United Nations General Assembly.
Hesselman, M., Hallo de Wolf, A., & Toebes, B. (Eds.) (2017). Socio-Economic Human Rights for Essential Public Services Provision. (Human Rights and International Law Series). Routledge.
Toebes, B. (2017, Dec 9). Sugar Sugar – don’t be misled / laat je niet misleiden.
Toebes, B. (2017). The Right to Health and the Global Rise of Non-Communicable Diseases. In S. Klotz, H. Bielefeld, M. Schmidthuber, & A. Frewer (Eds.), Healthcare as a Human Rights Issue: Normative Profile, Conflicts and Implementation (pp. 123-144). Transcript.
Toebes, B. (2017, Jan 30). Uitdagingen voor het Internationaal Gezondheidsrecht: van Ebola naar kanker en diabetes.


Hesselman, M., Hallo de Wolf, A., & Toebes, B. (2017). Challenges for Socio-Economic Human Rights and Essential Public Services Provision. In M. Hesselman, A. Hallo de Wolf, & B. T. (Eds.), Socio-Economic Human Rights in Essential Public Services Provision (Human Rights and International Law). Routledge.
Hesselman, M., Hallo de Wolf, A., & Toebes, B. (2017). International Guideposts for Essential Public Services Provision and Socio-Economic Human Rights. In M. Hesselman, A. Hallo de Wolf, & B. Toebes (Eds.), Socio-Economic Human Rights for Essential Public Services Provision (pp. 299-326). (Human Rights and International Law). Routledge.
Perehudoff, K., Toebes, B., & Hogerzeil, H. (2016). A human rights-based approach to the reimbursement of expensive medicines. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 94(12), 935-936.
Flegar, V., Dalli, M., & Toebes, B. (2016). Access to Preventive Health Care for Undocumented Migrants: A Comparative Study of Germany, the Netherlands and Spain from a Human Rights Perspective. Laws, 5(1), [9].
de Wolf, A. H., & Toebes, B. (2016). Assessing Private Sector Involvement in Health Care and Universal Health Coverage in Light of the Right to Health. Health and Human Rights, 18(2), 79-92.
Toebes, B., & Stronks, K. (2016). Closing the Gap: a Human Rights Approach to the Social Determinants of Health. European Journal of Health Law, 23(5), 510-524.
Perehudoff, S. K., Toebes, B., & Hogerzeil, H. (2016). Essential Medicines in National Constitutions: Progress since 2008. Health and Human Rights, 18(1), 141-156.
't Hoen, E., Toebes, B., & Hogerzeil, H. (2016). Overheid, doorbreek het monopolie van de farmaceut. NRC.
Hendriks, A., & Toebes, B. (2016). Recht op toegankelijke zorg: ook voor vreemdelingen. Nederlands Juristenblad NJB, 2016(19), 1347-1352. [949].
Toebes, B. C. A. (2016). Schets van het internationaal gezondheidsrecht. Tijdschrift voor Gezondheidsrecht, 40(8), 513-526.
't Hoen, E., Toebes, B., Perehudoff, K., & Abbott, F. M. (2016). Submission to the UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines by the Global Health Law Committee of the International Law Association: Proposal for an essential Medicines Patent Pool. United Nations Secretary General's High Level Panel on Access to Medicines.
Bantema, W., & Toebes, B. (2016). Tobacco Control Legislation in the Netherlands. IASLC Lung Cancer News, 1(2), 12-12. [12].


van Hattum, W., & Toebes, B. (2015). Beantwoording van vragen gesteld door het Ministerie van VWS over de maximale duur van de tijdelijke verplichte zorg voorafgaand aan de crisismaatregel en de mogelijkheden voor een time-outprocedure voor verwarde personen zoals voorgesteld in de brief van de Minister van VWS van 30 juni 2015. Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
Toebes, B. (2015). Book Review of S.I. Spronk-van der Meer, The Right to Health of the Child : An Analytical Exploration of the International Normative Framework. Rechtsgeleerd Magazijn Themis, 176(5), 232-234.
Toebes, B., (2015). Case note: EHRM, 27-01-2015, 24109/07: Asiye Genç tegen Turkije: EHRC 2015/80, No. 24109/07, Jan 27, 2015. (European Human Rights Cases; Vol. 2015, No. 4).
Toebes, B. (2015). Direct corporate human rights obligations under the right to health: from mere 'respecting' towards protecting and fulfilling. In J. Letnar Cernic, & T. van Ho (Eds.), Human Rights and Business: Direct Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Wolf Legal Publishers.
Toebes, B., Hogerzeil, H., Perehudoff, K., Atema, A., & Karangwa, S. (2015). Essential laws for medicines access: In search of good model legislation. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION.
Toebes, B., & Ambrus, M. (2015). Geef ons een half jaar zwangerschapsverlof. Trouw – De Verdieping, 2015.
Toebes, B. (Author). (2015). Gezondheidswetgeving in ontwikkelingslanden moet beter. Web publication/site
Toebes, B. (2015). Health and Human Rights: In Search of the Legal Dimension. Human Rights & International Legal Discourse, 9(2), 212-241.
Toebes, B. (2015). Human rights and public health: towards a balanced relationship. International Journal of Human Rights, 19(4), 488-504.
Toebes, B., & Flegar, V. (2015). Illegalen hebben recht op bed en brood. Dagblad van het Noorden, 2015.
Toebes, B. (2015). International health law: an emerging field of public international law. Indian Journal of International Law, 55(3), 299-328. [20].
Toebes, B., & Ambrus, M. (2015). Maternity leave: in the best interest of children, their mothers, and society at large.
Feinberg, M., Niada-Avshalom, L., & Toebes, B. (2015). National security and public health: Exceptions to human rights? International Journal of Human Rights, 19(4), 383-387.
Toebes, B., & Hallo de Wolf, A. (2015). Private Sector Involvement in Healthcare and UHC: An Assessment in Light of the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health. (University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2015/32). SSRN.
Toebes, B. (2015). Tabakszaak tegen Nederland: Nauwe banden tussen overheid en tabaksindustrie. Nederlands Juristenblad NJB, 90(37), 2606-2611. [1850 (Focus)].
Toebes, B. (Author). (2015). The ebola crisis: challenges for global health law. Web publication/site, .
Toebes, B. (2015). The Framework Convention on Global Health: Considerations in Light of International Law. Global Health Governance, IX(1), 7.
Hesselman, M., & Toebes, B. (2015). The Human Right to Health and Climate Change: A Legal Perspective. (Global Health Law Groningen). SSRN.


Toebes, B., & San Giorgi, M. (2014). Dutch Realities: Evaluating Health Care Reform in the Netherlands from a Human Rights Perspective. In R. Ferguson, M. M. Markovic, & O. Nnamuchi (Eds.), The Right to Health: A Multi-Country Study of Law, Policy and Practice (pp. 403-436). T.M.C. Asser Press.
Toebes, B. (2014). Healthcare on the Battlefield: In search of a legal and ethical framework. Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies, (4), 197-219.
Toebes, B. (2014, Oct 31). International health law: why it matters to our world today.
Toebes, B., Ferguson, R., Markovic, M., & Nnamuchi, O. (Eds.) (2014). The right to health: A multi-country study of law, policy and practice. (1 ed.) T.M.C. Asser Press.


Brus, M., Toebes, B., & Matthee, M. (Eds.) (2013). Armed conflict and international law: in search of the human face: liber amicorum in memory of Avril McDonald. T.M.C. Asser Press.
Toebes, B. C. A., (2013). Case note: EHRC 2013/142 EHRM (Senturk v.s. Turkey), No. EHRC 2013/142 EHRM, Sep 04, 2013. (European Human Rights Cases; Vol. 2013).
Toebes, B. C. A. (2013). Doctors in Arms: Exploring the Legal and Ethical Position of Military Medical Personnel in Armed Conflicts. In M. Matthee, B. C. A. Toebes, & M. M. T. A. Brus (Eds.), Armed Conflict and International Law, in Search of the Human Face: Liber Amicorum in Memory of Avril McDonald (pp. 169-194). T.M.C. Asser Press.
Last modified:25 August 2021 4.08 p.m.
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