American Bar Association
International Life Sciences and Health Law Committee

International Life Sciences and Health Law Committee

About the Committee

Health is a global enterprise. The International Life Sciences and Health Law Committee provides a forum for members to explore emerging issues in international public health, international organizations, cross-border healthcare transactions, and international health and life sciences regulation. The Committee facilitates networking and educational opportunities for attorneys working in public and private sectors in countries on all five continents. The Committee seeks to coordinate the production of programs, publications, projects and policies with other ABA entities concerned with health and life sciences, including the following Sections: Health Law, Science and Technology, Business Law, and Individual Rights and Responsibilities.

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Task Force on Rule of Law and Health, Summary

ABA Policy on Global Health Subjects



Jacob, Beth
Rappel, Craig


Mitchel, Lynsey
Stamer, Cynthia
Trujillo, Maximiliano
Weckel, Heather
Zollman, Stephen

Committee Roster  

Programs, Meetings and Events

Committee Events

ILEX trip Cte program, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania“Realizing Women’s Right to Health Under the Rule of Law.”

March 4, 2012 - March 14, 2012
Co-chair Lane Porter served on the steering committee, represented the international life science and health law committee and participated in our Sections ILEX delegation trip to Tanzania and Rwanda, 4-14 March 2012. It was a fascinating experience. The delegation participated in a roundtable discussion with local nongovernmental organizations in a half day program in Tanzania: “Realizing Women’s Right to Health Under the Rule of Law.” Our committee vice chair, Magdalena Rwebangira, a lawyer in Tanzania, and Lane Porter were co- program chairs for this event.

Drawing upon the content of the Tanzania Human Rights Report (2010), published by the Legal and Human Rights Centre, and other relevant documentation, Tanzania women lawyer speakers began this session by “framing the issues” for the health of women in Tanzania and other East African countries.

Tanzania women lawyer speakers and discussants included representatives from : Legal and Human Rights Centre; Women’s Legal Aid Centre; National Organization for Legal Assistance; Action Aid Tanzania; Tanzania Women’s Lawyers Association; Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance; Zanzibar Legal Services Centre, and the Tanganyika Law Society.

Co Program Chairs were: Magdalena Rwebangira, Rights Action Advocates; Chairperson, AIDS Law Committee, Tanganyika Law Society; Chairperson, Rights Action Watch; and Lane Porter, Co-Chair, International Life Sciences and Health Law Committee, ABA Section of International Law.

Speakers, discussants and delegation members concluded the rule of law and health program with a “at your table” focused discussion on the main challenges – “as we see them” concerning the health of women in Tanzania The goal of this session was identification of ideas on “what lawyers can do” action projects designed to more effectively achieve a higher standard of women’s health in Tanzania and other East African countries, and the establishment of a post-ILEX follow-up mechanism designed to continue the ABA-Tanzania legal community dialogue.

End of session wrap up comments included the following , in part.

In regard to–”gaps, vacuums and challenges”:


· Lack of gender sensitive budgets in the National budget and more so mainstreaming into sectoral and departmental at various levels.

· Lack of comprehensive National Health Strategy to prioritize and focus on Women and sexual reproductive rights.

Lack of legal Aid mechanism as a government commitment towards its noble duty and mandate. However, there is progress within the Ministry of Constitutional and Legal Affairs (MoCLA) in establishing the Public Legal Service departments.

Donor dependency and its limitation in demanding alignment of funds into their core activities and areas of interest

Suggestions to do the following;

Enhance girl child education in an affirmative action, from elementary to high level

Empower women economically and their literacy capacities

Sensitize girls and women to realize their inherent abilities, strength, power and mind

· Need to revisit and self examine ourselves as to our strengths and weaknesses by soul searching, self-criticism and believing in oneself. Unless this is done on individual basis, the collective outcome will remain a myth.’

· Women are “capable and can get results”


To get a briefing on the International Legal Exchange Program's recent trip (March 4-14 2012) to Tanzania and Rwanda, please click here.

The Virtual Doctor Will See You Now: Implications Increasing Health Information Flow Across Borders

June 17, 2011 - June 6, 2011
2011 is a banner year for multinational organizations involved in software, hardware and management protocols for the burgeoning electronic health record ("EHR") industry, and their counsel. The E.U. and U.S. have signed an accord to promote interoperability between their respective EHR systems. Health care providers have submitted applications access to Twenty-Seven Billion Dollars in United States federal government funds to assist health care providers in the transition to an interoperable electronic health record system, and the U.K. and other nations have greatly expanded their networks for creation, storage and disclosures (often across borders) of this most sensitive of personal data.This interactive session explored such areas as sensitive data privacy protections; cross-border disclosure conflicts in employment and contract disputes; jurisdictional hurdles; contractual protections for health data in the Cloud; and the potential for a treaty or other compact to facilitate international quality of care through the EHR. Moderator:
Ken Rashbaum, Rashbaum Associates, LLC
-Tomas Castrejon . Senior Manager, Incident Response and Forensics, General Dynamics
-Lee Braem, Senior Corporate Counsel and Compliance Officer, Evonik-

-Mark Field, Evans Petree PCFernando Pinguelo , Norris McLaughlin & Marcus

Sponsored by ABA SIL International Life Sciences and Health Law Committee
Co-sponsored by ABA SIL Information Services, Technology and Data
Protection Committee and the ABA Health Law Section

Think, Wink, and Drink event for law students,new lawyers

September 6, 2012
Think, Wink, and Drink event for law students,new lawyers6:00 p.m. tp 8:00 p.m. EDT
ABA Roof Top
740 15th Street, NW The International Life Sciences and Health law committee presented its first annual 'Think, Wink, and Drink' event. Meeting on the ABA roof top deck at sunset, some twenty five law students and new lawyers enjoyed the wine and beer bar, and meeting experts in various areas of international health and related law to discuss careers in their fields.

Guest Experts:
- Michele Forzley, Forzley Associates, global health
- Oliver M. Lewis, Office of the Legal Advisor, State Department.
- Emily Strunk, Akin Gump, food and drug law.
- Carol Mates, international project finance, formerly IFC.
- Asher Rubin, Hogan Lovells, health industry transactions.

Not For Sale: Global Responses To Sex and Labor Traffickig

April 19, 2012
SECTION SPRING MEETING IN NEW YORK 17-21 APRIL; AT THE GRAND HYATT HOTEL.Public International Law / Rule of Law…12-year-olds –under constant supervision by pimps in the alleys of the
Sonagachi Red-light district…Young girls brutishly incarcerated in poorly-lit, overcrowded, Indian brothels for paidsex…Vulnerable trafficked boys and girls toiling daily on cocoa plantations in Coted’Ivoire ...Adolescent sex slaves in theUnited States. Human trafficking has become a global human rights epidemic.

From forced prostitution to forced labor, an estimated 27 million people currentlyare victims of this modern-day brand ofslavery. How do we tackle this worldwide scourge of human exploitation? How does one combat human trafficking within andacross country borders? What is the world’s response via domestic laws? International regulations?
UN Conventions? This panel will bring together diverse world leading experts to discuss and analyze thisdistressing universal predicament.

Sponsoring Committees:International Human Rights Committee,Africa Committee, Europe Committee, IndiaCommittee, Russia/Eurasia Committee,NGO & Not-for-Profit OrganizationsCommittee, Women’s Interest Network(WIN), International Criminal Law
Committee, International Pro BonoCommittee, National Security Committee,Corporate Social Responsibility Committee,International Refugee Law Committee,International Employment Law Committee,Immigration & Naturalization Committee,and ABA Section of Individual Rights and
Responsibilities Women’s Rights Committee

Program Chairs:
Becky Farrar, Attorney-at-Law, Washington, DC
Olufunmi Oluyede, TRLPLAW,Lagos, Nigeria

Samantha Healy Vardaman, Esq, SharedHope International, Arlington, Virginia
Anne T. Gallagher, Asia Regional
Trafficking in Persons (ARTIP) Project, Bangkok, Thailand
Laura Lederer, Global Centurion /Georgetown University Law Center, Fairfax, Virginia
Jonathan Todres, Georgia State University,College of Law, Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta

Committee planning, Section Spring Meeting, in Washington, April 2012

April 19, 2012 - July 20, 2012
Notes: The Section is in process of considering and developing follow up activities responding to the several sets of commentaries provided throughout the trip.

Short Recap of the business meeting held at the Spring Meeting in DC

A full set of minutes - a big thanks to Nancy Rachlis - are on our committee web site at

Lots of chances to get involved! Become a committee leader or YIR author or propose and chair a program. Just let Lane or Michele know your interest and we can get you going. Our contact is on the committee website where you can all put your contact information and set your preferences for the list serv.

Member Survey Results are In! Were you counted? If not you can participate by responding:

The results so far tell us that we are a group with broad interests. Here is a quick breakdown of our practice areas: 20% public health, 30% cross border transactions, 10% licensure/practice issues, 10% clinical information systems, 10% intellectual property and 20% in international organizations. On the question why you are a member 60% of you said it was important to meet others in the same field, and 46% said it was important to have an opportunity to write for an ABA publication. So all of you who said publishing was important ready those pens and tell Michele! The take home message the committee leadership got from the survey is that we will aim to develop programs to meet your interests. We started thus on June 17 with a topic of cross border information flows, leading into summer with a mix and mingle so like minded folks can think and wink.

Section Events

Committee Resources

Sites of Interest

Modified by Adam Vogel on December 18, 2015

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