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William Onzivu

PositionLecturer in Law
LocationUniversity of Bradford School of Law
Emm Lane
West Yorkshire
DepartmentSchool of Law
Telephone01274 236693

Research Interests (key words only)

Environmental law and regulation, Global health law, International and comparative law, International economic law

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

William is the module leader for Environmental Law and Public Law 3 and has contributed to the development of the International Law module. William is also developing a Global Health Law module as well as Law and Globalisation module for the LLM in Healthcare Law soon to be taught at Bradford University Law School. He currently teaches on the Contract Law, Environmental Law, International Law and Public Law modules on the LLB.


William joined University of Bradford School of Law from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was a legal officer (2000-2007) and a global health leadership fellow (1999). At the WHO, he advised and worked on a range of international and comparative legal initiatives, working closely with WHO headquarters, regional and country offices as well as United Nations agencies and other international organisations. He also provided extensive legal technical assistance to the WHO's member states in the development and implementation of international and domestic laws to protect and promote public health.

William completed his Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from Makerere University, Kampala, in 1996, and graduated with a Master of Laws (LLM) degree (with merit) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, in 1998. He was awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice (PGCHEP) by the University of Bradford in 2009. He has authored publications on aspects of global health law, environmental law and international and comparative law and maintains an active interest in these topical areas of law. William has published in several journals including the American University International Law Review, Australian Journal of Asian Law, The International Lawyer, Carbon and Climate Law Review, Minnesota Journal of International Law and Bulletin of the World Health Organization, most of which are refereed.

Research Areas

  • Environmental law and regulation
  • Global health law
  • International and comparative law
  • International economic law

Current Projects

Among other work in progress, William is probing and examining from several perspectives the human health protection objective in environmental law and regulation. He is also continuing research on health in global and domestic climate change regulation, international law and global public private partnerships and International trade law, health security and public health regulation.

On a consultancy award by the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, William is completing a mapping and review of the state of domestic public health legislation and legal reform in each of the 53 Member States of the Commonwealth and to advise the Secretariat’s Social Transformation Programmes Division on this work.

William and Dr Obijiofor Aginam of the United Nations University(UNU), Tokyo are coordinating a £ 28,500 UNU funded project “Climate Change Diplomacy: “Common But Differentiated Responsibility” – Past Lessons, Challenges, and Future Directions for Small Island Developing States”. The project involves convening of an international workshop for experts and negotiators from small island developing countries of Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Latin America and South Pacific, the preparation of a policy brief as well as an edited volume to inform and advance work in this area.


William is a member of the Society of Legal scholars and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


(2014) "Rethinking Transnational Environmental Health Governance in Africa: Can Adaptive Governance Help", accepted for publication in the Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law(RECIEL), forthcoming 2014.

(2014) The evolution of human rights in World Health Organization policy and the future of human rights through global health governance, Public Health 128(2014), 179-187 (with Benjamin Mason Meir).

(2013) International Climate Change Law, Health Promotion and Evolving Domestic Climate Law in Developing Countries, African Yearbook of International Law, (2012) Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 257 –285.

(2013) (Re)invigorating the health protection objective of the Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal Legal Studies, Volume 33, Issue 4, pages 621–649, December 2013

(2012) Mind That Gap: International climate Law, Health Protection and United Kingdom’s Climate Legislation, European Energy and Environmental Law Review, Volume 21, Number 2, April 2012, pp. 79-91 (Kluwer Law)

(2012) The Long Road to Integrating Public Health into Sustainable Development of Shared Freshwaters in International Environmental Law: Lessons from Lake Victoria in East Africa, International Lawyer, Volume 46, Number 3 Fall 2012, pp.867-892.

(2012) Regionalism and the re-invigoration of global health diplomacy: lessons from Africa, Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy, Volume 7(1) March 2012, pp. 49-76.

(2011) Reinvigorating the World Health Organization's Governance of Health Rights: repositioning an evolving legal regime, its challenges and prospects, African Journal of Legal Studies (Martinus Nijhoff-Brill), 2011 Volume 4(3), pp. 225-256.

(2010) Health in Global Climate Change Law: The Long Road to an Effective Legal Regime Protecting both Public Health and the Climate, Carbon and Climate Law Review, 2010(4) pp. 364-382

(2010), Eco-patent commons: Implications for Technology Transfer to fight climate change., Carbon and Climate Review, Volume 4, Number 1, March 2010, pp. 13-29 (17) Lexxion, Berlin, 2010 (with Mark Van Hoorebeek).

(2009) Tackling the Public Health Impact of Climate Change: The role of domestic environmental health governance mechanisms in developing countries, The International Lawyer, Vol. 43, Issue 3, (2009)

(2008) “Eco patent commons: Open source patents in environmental management”, Student Law Review, 2008, Vol.55, p.45, Routledge. Cavendish, Abingdon, Oxford (with Mark Van Hoorebeek).

(2006) "International Environmental Law, the Public's Health and Domestic Environmental Governance in Developing Countries", American University International Law Review 21(4), 2006, 597-684

(2006) "Globalism, Regionalism, or Both: Health Policy and Regional Economic integration in Developing Countries, an Evolution of a Legal Regime?" Minnesota Journal of International Law, Volume 15(1), 2006, 111-187

(2002) "International Environmental Law and Global Public Health, Bulletin of the World Health Organization" (The International Journal of Public Health) Volume 80, Number 12, 2002, 970-974, with Yasmin V. Schirnding & A.O Adede

(2002) "The Public Health Implications of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Legal Regime on Tobacco Control", 4(2) Australian Journal of Asian Law, 160-187

(2001) "Public Health and the Tobacco Problem: International Legal Implications for Africa?", Vol. 29 (2), 2001 Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, University of Georgia, 223-252

Books and book chapters

(2013) Reinforcing Global Health Normative Frameworks and Legal Obligations: Can Adaptive Governance Help?, in "Global Health and International Community",(John Coggon and Swati Gola, Editors) Bloomsbury Publishing, London, UK, (September 2013).

(2012) Re-examining the effectiveness of health protection in global environmental regulation, in Human Rights and Duties:Sustaining Global Ecological Integrity and Human Health through Science, Ethics and the Law, (Laura Westra, Colin Soskolne and Donald Spady, Editors) Routledge, May 2012.

(2011) Textbook on Legal Skills, Palgrave Macmillan, March 2011 (Lisa Cherkassky et al).

(2011): Book Chapter, "World Trade Organization, Global Health Security and Domestic Public Health Regulation in Developing Countries”, in World Trade Organization and Human Security, Edward Kwakwa and Obijiofor Aginam (Editors), United Nations University Press, forthcoming Fall 2011.

(2011) Book Chapter, (Re) conceiving rights based approaches to governance of Public-private partnerships in global health, in Governance of Global Public Private Partnerships, Andy Knight and Obijiofor Aginam (Editors), United Nations University Press, forthcoming 2011.

(2004) "Tobacco Control Legislation: an introductory guide", co-author with Mirta Molinari, D.Blanke & V. Costa e Silva, Editors, World Health Organization, 2004

Book reviews

The Application of the Precautionary Principle in Practice: Comparative Dimensions by Joakim Zander, Cambridge University Press (2010) in Environmental Liability 2010, 18(6), 241-243

Law briefs and working papers

(2010) International Law and the Governance of Global Public Private Partnerships, Law in Brief, No 3(2010), Bradford University Law School, University of Bradford, July 2010

(2009) International Climate Change Law and Global Health, Law in Brief, No 4(2009), Bradford University Law School, University of Bradford, May 2009

(2008) Health Diplomacy in East Africa, WHO Global Health Diplomacy Working Paper Series, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 2008

(2000)International Legal and Policy Framework for the development of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, World Health Organization, Geneva, 2000.


September 2011: Presented a paper, "(Re) conceiving health protection objectives in environmental regulation: global and domestic perspectives" , Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, Downing College and the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, UK, 5 - 8 September 2011.

July 2011: Presented a paper, “Climate change diplomacy for developing countries, past lessons and future prospects for small island developing countries”, in a Conference on Climate Change Diplomacy for Small Island Developing States, co- organized by the United Nations University and Catholic University of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

July 2011: Presented a paper, “Re-Examining the Effectiveness of Health Protection in Global Environmental Regulation”. in GEIG international conference on .Human Rights and Duties: Supporting Biological Integrity for Public Health.., Global Ecological Integrity Group, Sustaining Global Ecological Integrity and Human Health through Science, Ethics and the Law, Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, July 11-16, 2011.

July 2011, Presented a paper entitled, “The limits of integrating public health into sustainable management of shared freshwaters in international environmental law: lessons from Africa”, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Academy of Environmental Law, Mpekweni, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 3-7th July 2011.

5. June 2011, Presented a paper entitled, “Regionalism and the re-invigoration of global health diplomacy: Lessons from Africa”, in the Global Health Diplomacy Network 2011 conference, Chatham House, London, 28 - 29 June 2011.

June 2011, Presented a paper, “(Re) invigorating Global Health Normative Frameworks and Legal Obligations: Can Adaptive Governance Help?” Conference on Global Health, Global Goods and International Community, Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation, University of Manchester, UK, 2- June 2011.

May 2011: Presented a paper, “International climate change law, health protection and domestic climate law in developing countries: a comparative perspective”, UCLAN Centre for Sustainable Development and UCLAN Confucius Institute, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom, 19th -20th May.

(November 2009): Presented a paper entitled, “World Trade Organization, health security and domestic public health regulation in developing countries”, in United Nations University workshop on WTO, United Nations and Human Security, Santiago, Chile.

(November 2009): Presented a paper entitled "Health in International Law and the Governance of Sustainability in Developing Countries, IUCN Environmental Law Colloquium, School of Law,University of Wuhan, China.

(July 2009) : Presented paper“(Re) conceiving rights based approaches to governance of public-private Partnerships in global health”, Academic Council on the United Nations System/ American Society of International Law and United Nations University Summer workshop in International studies on the theme, “Governance of Global Public Private Partnerships”, Department of Political Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

(March 2009): Invited Chair and Presenter, Symposium on human rights and tobacco control at the 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH), Mumbai, India, 7th-13th March 2009. Presented a paper, “Strengthening international legal framework to advance the liability regime for tobacco control” .

(April 2009): International Expert consultations on Public health law convened by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and co-hosted by O’Neill Centre for Global Health Law, Georgetown University, USA and the World Health Organization, Rome, Italy.

(September 2008): Presented a paper entitled “Tackling the Public Health Impact of Climate Change: The role of domestic in environmental health governance in developing countries” in the conference,” Climate law in developing countries: North-South Perspectives”, IUCN Environmental Law Centre/Faculty of Law University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.

(2007) "Global Health and Human Rights: Process: The role of legal and institutional frameworks of global health agencies: the case of the World Health Organization",
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Institute of Health, University of Warwick, and Faculty of Law, Liverpool University (2007), Edinburgh, United 

(2005) "Reinvigorating International Law for Global Health: Insights into recent developments at the World Health Organization", Institute of Medicine, Law and Bioethics, Faculty of Law, University of Liverpool (2005) Liverpool, United Kingdom

(2002) International Law and Public Health in Africa, Faculty of Law, Makerere University,(2002), Kampala, Uganda

(2002) The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, International University of Peoples Institutions for Peace (IUPIP) (2002), Rovereto, Italy

(2000) International Legal and Policy Framework for the development of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control(2000), World Health Organization, New Delhi, India

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