Faculty Member

Lisa Forman BA, LLB, MA, SJD

Email Address(es)
Office Phone
Office Address
Dalla Lana School of Public Health 155 College Street, Room 590, Toronto, ON, Canada M5T 3M7
Office of Global Public Health Education & Training
Social & Behavioural Health Sciences Division
Associate Professor
SGS Status
Full Member
Appointment Status

Research Interests

  • The right to health in international human rights law
  • Global health and human rights
  • The post-2015 health development agenda
  • Trade-related intellectual property rights and access to medicines globally
  • HIV/AIDS treatment
  • Human rights impact assessment
  • South African constitutional law related to health

Education & Training History


  • 1988-1990: Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Law and English), University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • 1991-1993: Bachelor of Law (LLB), University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • 2000–2001: Masters in Human Rights Studies (MA), Columbia University, USA
  • 2001–2006: Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD), University of Toronto, Canada

Postgraduate, Research and Speciality Training

2006-2009:  Post-doctoral Fellow, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Comparative Program on Health and Society, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto


1995: Attorney of the High Court of South Africa

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • CHL5704H: International human rights law and global health: The right to health in theory and practice

Professional Summary & Appointments

Lisa Forman is a South African human rights lawyer and international human rights law scholar whose research explores the contribution of the right to health in international law to remediating global health inequities. She holds a Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Human Rights and Global Health Equity. Her current research focuses on the strengthening of the concept of the minimum core concept within the international human right to health, and the development of post-2015 rights-based health development goals. In 1993, she completed a BA and LLB at the University of the Witwatersrand, and in 1995, completed articles of clerkship and the qualifying board exams to become a practising lawyer. From 1996-1999, Forman worked as a human rights lawyer on HIV/AIDS at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, and then as a consultant on HIV/AIDS and human rights at the National Commission on Gender Equality. In 2001, Lisa completed a Masters in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University, and in 2006, a Doctorate in Juridical Science (SJD) from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. Her SJD focused on the contribution of the right to health in international human rights law to increasing access to AIDS treatment, focusing on the case-study of South Africa. From 2006-2009, Forman completed postdoctoral training at the University of Toronto exploring the theoretical and practical relevance of international human rights law to medicines access in low and middle-income countries. From  2009-2017, she was the Lupina assistant professor in global health and human rights at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and Director of the Comparative Program on Health and Society (CPHS) at the Munk School of Global Affairs. She is now a tenured Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

For more information on her scholarship, see https://utoronto.academia.edu/LisaForman

Honours & Awards

  • 2016: Fellow, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Governance, Accountability and Transparency in the Pharmaceutical Sector, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, http://www.pharmacy.utoronto.ca/whocc
  • 2015: Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize, University of Toronto Award of Excellence
  • 2014-2019: Canada Research Chair Tier 2
  • 2013: Connaught New Researcher Award
  • 2006-2009: Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2006-2009: University of Toronto Comparative Program on Health and Society Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2005-2006: University of Toronto Comparative Program on Health and Society Research Fellowship
  • 2002-2005: Canadian Institute of Health Research Program in Health Law and Policy Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2002: University of Toronto Faculty of Law, International Human Rights Program Internship Award

Current Research Projects

  • 2013-2015: Lisa Forman (nominated principal investigator), Gorik Ooms, Audrey Chapman, Attiya Waris (co-investigators), Everaldo Lamprea, Moses Mulumba and Eric Friedman (collaborators), “Defining the minimum core of the right to health to advance universal health coverage,” CIHR Operating Grant – Priority Announcement: Ethics.
  • 2013-2015: Lisa Forman (nominated principal investigator), “Maximizing the contribution of the right to health to global health equity: Developing rights-based goals for universal health coverage” Connaught New Researcher Award 2012/13.
  • 2012-2016: Anne-Emanuelle Birn (nominated principal applicant), Lisa Forman, Carles Muntaner (co-principal applicants), Rene Loewenson, Rangarirai Machemedze, Pedro Elias Gutierrez and Rosicar Mata (co-investigators), “Global health (diplomacy) at a crossroads: South-South Cooperation in a Time of Crises,” CIHR operating grant.
  • 2012-2016: Gorik Ooms (principal investigator), Wim Van Damme, Jahn Albrecht, Olaf Müller, Manuela de Allegri, Rafael Bauschke, Caroline Zöllner, Adila Hassim, Lawrence Gostin, Oscar Cabrera, Eric A. Friedman, Devi Sridhar, Thomas Gebauer, Moses Mulumba, David Kabanda, Gertrude Nakanwagi, Kevin Namata, Timothy Evans, Walter Flores, Ismael Gomez, Asbjørn Eide, Martin McKee, Lisa Forman and Peter Hill (co-investigators), “Go4Health: Formulating new goals for global health and proposing new governance for global health that will allow the achievement of these goals,”  European Commission operating grant.

Representative Publications

  1. Lisa Forman, Luljeta Caraoshi, Audrey Chapman and Everaldo Lamprea, “Conceptualizing the ‘morality of the depths’: How should we define and implement core obligations under the right to health?” (2016) International Journal of Human Rights 20:4, 531-548.Conceptualising minimum core obligations under the right to health How should we define and implement the morality of the depths
  2. Lisa Forman, “The ghost is the machine: How can we visibilize the unseen norms and power of global health? Comment on “Navigating between stealth advocacy and unconscious dogmatism: The challenge of researching the norms, politics and power of global health” (2015) 5:3 International Journal of Health Policy and Management 1-3.IJHPM31361456777800
  3. Lisa Forman, “Can Core Obligations under the Right to Health Achieve their Ambitions?” (2015) Zeitschrift für Menschenrechte/Journal for Human Rights (German) 2:36. Forman_zfmr_2_2015
  4. Lisa Forman and Gillian MacNaughton, “Lessons Learned: A Framework Methodology for Health and Human Rights Impact Assessment of Intellectual Property Provisions in International Trade Agreements, (2016) Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal. Forman MacNaughton IAPA final
  5. Lisa Forman, Gorik Ooms and Claire E. Brolan, “Rights language in the post-2015 health development agenda: How does the right to health shape health goals?” (2015) 4(x) International Journal of Health Policy and Management 1–6.
  6. Lisa Forman, “Decoding the right to health: What could it offer to global health?” (2015) 8:3 Bioethica Forum 91-97. 03_Forman
  7. Lisa Forman and Gillian MacNaughton, “Moving Theory into Practice with Human Rights Impact Assessment of Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights,” (2014) 7:1 Journal of Human Rights Practice 109-138.
  8. Gillian MacNaughton and Lisa Forman, “The value of mainstreaming rights into health impact assessment” (2014) 11:1-x International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
  9. Andrew D. Pinto, Donald C. Cole, Aleida ter Kuile, Lisa Forman, Katherine Rouleau, Jane Philpott, Barry Pakes, Suzanne Jackson, and Carles Muntaner, “A case study of global health at the university: Implications for research and action,” (2014) 7: 24526 Global Health Action.
  10. Gorik Ooms, Laila Abdul Latif, Attiya Waris, Rachel Hammonds, Eric E. Friedman, Claire E. Brolan and Lisa Forman, “Is ‘universal health coverage’ the practical expression of the right to health?” (2014) 14:3 BMC International Health and Human Rights 1-7.
  11. Lisa Forman, “A Rights-Based Approach to Global Health Policy” in Garret Brown, Gavin Yamey and Sarah Wamala, eds., The Handbook of Global Health Policy (West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014) 459-482.
  12. Lisa Forman and Jerome Singh, “The role of rights and litigation in assuring access to health care in South Africa,” in Colleen Flood and Aeyal Gross, eds., The Right to Health in a Globalized World (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
  13. Lisa Forman, Gorik Ooms, Attiya Waris, Moses Mulumba, Everaldo Lamprea and Audrey Chapman, “What could a strengthened right to health bring to global health policy?: Interrogating the role of the minimum core concept with regard to the post-2015 health development agenda,” (2013) 13:48 BMC International Health and Human Rights.
  14. Claire E. Brolan, Stephanie Dagron, Lisa Forman, Rachel Hammonds, Laila Abdul Latif and Attiya Waris, “Health rights in the post-2015 development agenda: including non-nationals,” (2013) 91 Bulletin of the World Health Organization 719–719A.
  15. Lisa Forman, “Human rights impact assessment of trade-related intellectual property rights: A key strategy in post-2015 global health diplomacy for safe and accessible drugs,” (2013) 1:1 Journal of Health Diplomacy.
  16. Lisa Forman, “What contribution have human rights made in reducing AIDS-related vulnerability in Sub-Saharan Africa? Exploring the case-study of access to antiretrovirals,” (2013) 20:1 Global Health Promotion 57-63.
  17. Lisa Forman, “The Right to Health and AIDS Medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa: Assessing the Outcomes of a Human Rights-Based Approach to Medicines,” in Charles Ngwena and Ebenezer Tope Durojaiye, Strengthening Protection of Sexual and Reproductive Health Through Human Rights in the Sub-Saharan African Region (Pretoria University Law Press) (in press).
  18. Lisa Forman and Jillian Clare Kohler, eds., Access to Medicines as a Human Right: Implications for Pharmaceutical Industry Responsibility (University of Toronto Press, 2012).
  19. Lisa Forman, Donald Cole, Gorik Ooms and Merrick Zwarenstein, “Human Rights and Global Health Funding: What Contribution Can the Right to Health Make to Sustaining and Extending International Assistance for Health?” (2012) 5:1 Global Health Governance.
  20. Gorik Ooms, Claire Brolan, Natalie Eggermont, Asbjørn Eide, Walter Flores, Lisa Forman, Eric Friedman, Thomas Gebauer, Lawrence Gostin, Peter S. Hill, Sameera Hussain, Martin McKee, Moses Mulumba, Faraz Siddiqui, Devi Sridhar, Luc Van Leemput, Attiya Waris and Albrecht Jahn, “Post-2015: Universal Health Coverage Anchored in the Right to Health and Accountable Governance,” (2012) 91:2 Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2A.
  21. Lisa Forman, “From TRIPS-Plus to Rights-Plus? Exploring right to health impact assessment of trade-related intellectual property rights through the Thai experience,” (2012) 7:2 Asian Journal of WTO and International Health Law and Policy 347.
  22. Lisa Forman, “Global AIDS Funding and the Re-Emergence of AIDS ‘Exceptionalism,’” (2011) 6:1 Social Medicine 60-66.
  23. Lisa Forman, “Making the Case for Human Rights in Global Health Education, Research and Policy,” (2011) 102:3 Canadian Journal of Public Health 207-9.
  24. Lisa Forman, “An Elementary Consideration of Humanity? Linking Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights to the Human Right to Health in International Law,” (2011) 14:2 Journal of World Intellectual Property 155–175.
  25. Lisa Forman, “What Future for the Minimum Core? Contextualizing the Implications of South African Socioeconomic Rights Jurisprudence for the International Human Right to Health,” in John Harrington and Maria Stuttaford, Global Health and Human Rights: Legal and Philosophical Perspectives (Routledge, 2009).
  26. Lisa Forman, “‘Rights’ and Wrongs: What Utility for the Right to Health in Reforming Trade Rules on Medicines?” (2008) 10:2 Health and Human Rights: An International Journal.
  27. Stephanie Nixon and Lisa Forman, “Exploring the Synergies between Human Rights and Public Health Ethics: A Whole Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts?” (2008) 8:2 BMC International Health and Human Rights.
  28. Lisa Forman, “Justice and Justiciability: Evaluating Right to Health Jurisprudence in South Africa,” (2008) 27 Journal of Medicine and Law 661-683.
  29. Lisa Forman, “Trade Rules, Intellectual Property and the Right to Health” (2007) 21:3 Ethics and International Affairs 337.
  30. Lisa Forman, “Ensuring Reasonable Health: Health Rights, the Judiciary and South African HIV/AIDS Policy” (2005) 33:4 Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 711-724.