International Legal Training Program

by McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer

(NGO)

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The three week International Legal Training Program brings together lawyers, policymakers and leaders from low- and middle-income countries to build their understanding, knowledge and capacity in the use of law to prevent cancer and other non-communicable diseases.

Project goal

To reduce the global burden of NCDs through the effective use of law.

delivering on

why is this project important?

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The McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, with support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Department of Health (DoH), has been actively engaged in the promotion and advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by building capacity, networks and expertise internationally in the use of the law to prevent cancer and other Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). This is done within the framework of policy coherence across health, trade, investment and sustainable development.

With more than 80 per cent of premature NCD deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries, NCDs pose a major social and economic burden – ultimately a barrier for sustainable development. Two key components of the McCabe Centre’s work – an International Legal Training Program (the Program) and its role as a World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) Knowledge Hub – contribute to Australia’s implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at an international level in the context of NCD prevention.

Since 2014, with funding support from the DFAT and DoH, the McCabe Centre has run eight highly successful three-week International Legal Training Programs. In our neighbouring regions, NCDs are responsible for 80 percent of all deaths in the Western Pacific and 62 per cent of all deaths in South East Asia. With this in mind, participants of the Program are predominantly government lawyers and policymakers from low- and middle-income countries in the Indo-Pacific Region.

The Program covers legal issues relevant to cancer and NCD prevention, including: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the global NCD agenda; the role of law in NCD risk factor regulation; the interrelationship between NCD risk factor regulation and international trade and investment law; and multisectoral collaboration. With a focus on tobacco control, the Program enables sharing of Australia’s world-leading experience and expertise, including the implementation and defending of tobacco plain packaging in domestic, World Trade Organization and investment challenges.

A total of 149 participants from 63 countries have taken part in the training, representing a wide range of sectors including Ministries of Health, Trade, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Commerce, Industry, Revenue, Customs, Police and Planning, as well as Offices of Prime Minister and President. Program participants have applied the knowledge, expertise and skills acquired during the training to implement significant legal and policy developments in their countries.

With an emphasis on coherent and mutually supportive practices and policies across health, trade, investment and sustainable development; the Program promotes the attainment of multiple SDGs, in particular: SDG 3 (ensuring healthy lives and the promotion of well-being for all at all ages) and Target 3.4 (reducing mortality from NCDs by one-third by 2030 through prevention and treatment); SDG 16 (promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels); and SDG 17 (strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development).

The McCabe Centre’s role as WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub on legal challenges to implementation of the treaty, with funding support from the DoH, contributes to the advancement of SDG Target 3.A (strengthened implementation of the WHO FCTC), supporting the Convention Secretariat to facilitate information exchange and cooperation between WHO FCTC Parties.

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