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. Grijp nóg fermer in om corona in te dammen

    Toebes, B. & Friedrich, A. W., 12-Mar-2020, In : NRC Handelsblad.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlePopular

  2. Preventie is niet vrijblijvend: Over het preventie-oeuvre van Jos Dute

    Toebes, B. C. A., 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Tijdschrift voor Gezondheidsrecht. 44, 3, p. 227-235 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  3. I. Verplichte vaccinatie als serieuze handelingsoptie

    Toebes, B., 18-Jun-2020, In : Rechtsgeleerd Magazijn Themis. 2020, 3, p. 142-145 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

  4. Human rights and Non-Communicable Diseases: Controlling Tobacco and Promoting Healthy Diets

    Toebes, B. & Patterson, D., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Global Health and Human Rights. Gostin, L. O. & Meier, B. M. (eds.). University of California Press, (SSRN Electronic Journal).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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  1. CRC State reports "Tobacco control"

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


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  1. Honorary Lecturer

    Brigit Toebes (Recipient), 1-Aug-2008

    Prize: Honorary degreeAcademic

  2. Honorary Lecturer

    Brigit Toebes (Recipient), 2009

    Prize: Honorary degreeAcademic

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  1. ESIl webinar: International Law in the age of COVID-19

    Brigit Toebes (Invited speaker)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conferenceAcademic

  2. Exploring the human rights dimensions of Covid-19

    Brigit Toebes (Invited speaker)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conferenceAcademic

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Press / Media
  1. Amrish Baidjoe en Brigit Toebes over wereldgezondheidsorganisatie

    Brigit Toebes & Amrish Baidjoe


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert CommentPopular

  2. Clio Conference Gen Z: Entering the Global Stage

    Brigit Toebes


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement ActivitiesProfessional


    Brigit Toebes


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert CommentPopular

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