prof. mr. dr. B.C.A. (Brigit) Toebes

Professor, Health Law in a Global Context

prof. mr. dr. B.C.A. (Brigit) Toebes
+31 6 5434 1961 (mobile)


Postal address:
United Kingdom

Research interests

My research focuses on how international legal standard-setting instruments play a role in the protection of health. ‘International health law’ is not a well-developed branch of international law. The health-related standards are very fragmented and they lack adequate implementation by all the stakeholders in the health field. Moreover these standards insufficiently emphasise equitable access and distribution of health services, and the creation of overall fairness in health.


International law is potentially a powerful and essential weapon in strengthening health prevention and control. As the recent ebola crisis has demonstrated, health problems increasingly transcend borders. However, ebola and other infectious diseases are not the only health problems the world is facing today. We are witnessing a change in disease patterns, some of which are lifestyle-related; increasing health inequalities within and between nations; as well as the detrimental health effects of environmental degradation, climate change, urbanization and internal conflicts. Powerful actors such as the pharmaceutical industry but also the tobacco, food and beverage industries now structurally operate on a global level. All this is affecting the health and wellbeing of individuals worldwide, and especially those who are marginalized and disadvantaged. A stronger recognition of international health law is necessary to address these challenges in the health field.


Based on my 20 years of experience advancing human rights standards for the health field, my overall research goal is to lay out the theoretical and practical fundament for international health law. As such, my research is aimed at creating a better understanding of the nature and scope of international health law, and of how this field can be best employed to address global health injustices.



  1. Identifying a human rights–based approach to obesity for States and civil society

    Patterson, D., Buse, K., Magnusson, R. & Toebes, B., 12-Jul-2019, In : Obesity Reviews.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  2. Ongezond gedrag: de rol van het recht: Preadvies VGR 2019

    Toebes, B. C. A., Gispen, M. E. C., Dietvorst, R., de Coninck, P. J. M. & Dute, J. C. J., 12-Apr-2019, Den Haag: Sdu Uitgevers. 260 p. (Pre-advies Vereniging voor Gezondheidsrecht )

    Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademicpeer-review

  3. New publication: Research Handbook on Global Health Law

    Toebes, B. & Burci, G. L., 18-Jan-2019

    Research output: Other contributionAcademic

View all (116) »

  1. CRC State reports "Tobacco control"

    Gispen, M. E. (Data Manager), University of Groningen, 4-Mar-2019


View all (1) »

  1. Honorary Lecturer

    Brigit Toebes (Recipient), 1-Aug-2008

    Prize: Honorary degreeAcademic

  2. Honorary Lecturer

    Brigit Toebes (Recipient), 2009

    Prize: Honorary degreeAcademic

View all (2) »

  1. The right to health - legal dimensions

    Brigit Toebes (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationAcademic

  2. Jean Monnet Summer School on Human Rights and Health

    Brigit Toebes (Invited speaker)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conferenceAcademic

  3. Toegang tot het recht

    Brigit Toebes (Invited speaker)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conferenceProfessional

View all (138) »

Press / Media
  1. Health covenant heavily influenced by food and alcohol industry

    Brigit Toebes


    1 media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert CommentPopular

  2. Poldering and prevention are not a good match

    Brigit Toebes & Jos Dute


    1 media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert CommentAcademic

  3. Een suikertaks komt natuurlijk nooit van de grond als de voedselindustrie mag meepraten

    Brigit Toebes


    1 media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert CommentPopular

View all (26) »

View graph of relations

ID: 434732