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
- Centre for Global Health
Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation
Social & Behavioural Health Sciences Division
- Associate Professor
- SGS Status
- Full Member
- Appointment Status
- Admin Faculty Appointment
- Social & Behavioural Health Science
- Currently Accepting Doctoral Students?
- The right to health in international human rights law
- Human rights and COVID-19
- Human rights and the International Health Regulations
- Sustainable Development Goals
- Universal health coverage
- Trade-related intellectual property rights and access to medicines globally
- 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 an 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. In 1993, she completed a BA and LLB at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, 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 South African 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 interaction between right to health in international human rights law and international trade law, and the role of this right in 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 international human rights law and 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
- 2023: Foundation Brocher Residency, Geneva, Switzerland, for project “Towards standards for legitimate restrictions of economic, social and cultural rights during a public health emergency,” February-March 2023.
- 2022-2023: Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Boston College Law School, USA.
- 2020 Inclusion on Canadian Women Leaders in Global Health List 2020
- 2020: Member, Ontario COVID-19 Health System Response Bioethics Table
- 2019: Member, Canadian Institute of Health Research College of Reviewers
- 2018: Inclusion on Canadian Women Leaders in Global Health List 2018
- 2018: Visiting Researcher, University of Cape Town School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Winter 2018.
- 2017: Visiting Research Fellow, Minerva Center for Human Rights, Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University, Fall 2017.
- 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
- 2014-2020: Canada Research Chair Tier 2
- 2012: Recognition in The Hill Times’ List of the Top 100 Best Political, Government, Public Policy and Canadian History Books in 2012.
- 2013: Connaught New Researcher Award
- 2006-2009: Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship and University of Toronto Comparative Program on Health and Society Postdoctoral Fellowship
Selected Current and Past Research Projects
- 2022-2025: Lisa Forman, Sharifah Sekalala, Moses Mulumba, Jillian Clare Kohler, Paula Braitstein, Steven Hoffman,“Developing an interdisciplinary global health and human rights training program,” Connaught Global Research Impact Program, CAD150,000.00.
- 2021-2022: Lisa Forman, Sharifah Sekalala, Moses Mulumba, Jillian Clare Kohler, Paula Braitstein, Steven Hoffman,“Advancing rights-based access to COVID vaccines as part of universal health coverage,” Connaught Global Challenge Research Program. CAD200,538.00.
- 2020-2021: Lisa Forman, Maxwell Smith and Diego Silva, “COVID-19 and the International Health Regulations: Ethical and Legal Considerations for Travel Restrictions in 2021 and Beyond,” WHO Health Ethics and Governance Unit Grants on the Ethics of COVID-19 Public Health Preparedness and Response.
- 2020-2025: Lisa Forman, “Advancing Rights-Based Universal Health Coverage in a “Neo-illiberal” Age,” Tier II Canada Research Chair renewal, July 2020.
- 2019-2021: Eleanor Hutchinson (nominated principal investigator), Moses Mulumba (co-investigator) and Lisa Forman (invited co-investigator), “Qualitative analysis and participatory action research of right to health-based monitoring of and advocacy for universal health coverage in Uganda,” United Kingdom Medical Research Council.
- 2014-2020: Lisa Forman, “Equity as justice: Re-conceptualizing the right to health to advance global health,”Canada Research Chair Tier 2, November 2014.
- 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.
- Lisa Forman and Carly Jackson, “Interdependent determinants of health and death? Examining the linkages between health equity, human rights, and democracy during COVID-19,” (2023) 89:1 Annals of Global Health 1–10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/aogh.4104.
- Lisa Forman, Carly Jackson, and Kaitlin Fajber, “Can we move beyond vaccine apartheid? Examining the determinants of the COVID-19 vaccine gap,” (2023) 18:1, Global Public Health 1-18 (PA).
- Audrey R. Chapman, Luca Brunelli, Lisa Forman, and Joseph Kaempf, “Promoting Children’s Rights to Health and Wellbeing in the United States,” (2023) 25 Lancet Regional Health – the Americas
- Lisa Forman, Katrina Perehudoff, and Carlos Correa, Special issue of Harvard Health and Human Rights Journal on COVID-19 vaccine equity and human rights, (2022) 24:2 Harvard Health and Human Rights Journal (121-228).
- Lisa Forman, Basema Al-Amani, and Kaitlin Fajber, “An inquiry into state agreement and practice on the international law status of the human right to medicines,” (2022) 24:2 Harvard Health and Human Rights Journal 125-140.
- Carly Jackson, Roojin Habibi, Lisa Forman, Diego Silva, and Maxwell Smith, “Between rules and resistance: moving public health emergency responses beyond fear, racism and greed,” (2022) BMJ Global Health 7:e009945.
- Lisa Forman and Roojin Habibi, “Revisiting the legality of travel restrictions under international law during COVID-19,” (2022) 71:3 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 743-760 (PA).
- Lisa Forman, Benjamin Meier, and Sharifah Sekalala, “The World Health Organization, International Health Regulations & Human Rights Law,” (2022) 19 International Organizations Law Review 37–62 (PA).
- Monica Gagnon, Rebeccah Cheff and Lisa Forman, “Who deserves care in a pandemic? What can the values that guide action and policy in extraordinary times teach us about ordinary times?” (2021) 23:2 Harvard Health and Human Rights Journal 1-6.
- Diya Uberoi and Lisa Forman, “Human rights and kidney disease: What role can the right to health play in ensuring equitable access to care?” (2021) 41:3 Seminars in Nephrology Special Issue on Ethics in Nephrology 220-229.
- Katrina Perehudoff, Nav Persaud and Lisa Forman, “The human right to essential medicines applies to Canadians,” (2021) 67:6 Canadian Family Physician 400-402 (30% contribution to drafting and conceptualization).
- Maxwell Smith, Sharifah Sekalala, Katrina Perehudoff, Lisa Forman and Belinda Rawson, “Should a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use be considered an ‘essential’ medicine?” (2021) 23:1 Health and Human Rights Journal 145-150.
- Sharifah Sekalala, Lisa Forman, Timothy Fish Hodgson, Moses Mulumba, Hadijah Namyalo and Benjamin Mason Meier, “Decolonising human rights: How intellectual property laws result in unequal access to the COVID-19 vaccine,” (2021) 6:e006169 BMJ Global Health.
- Sharifah Sekalala, Benjamin Meier, Roojin Habibi, Lisa Forman and Stephanie Dagron, “Analysing the human rights impact of increased digital public health surveillance during the COVID-19 crisis,” (2020) Harvard Health and Human Rights Journal (20% drafting and contribution to conceptualization).
- Lisa Forman and Jillian Kohler, “Global health and human rights in the time of COVID-19: Response, restrictions and legitimacy,” (2020) 19:5 Journal of Human Rights, 1-10.
- Sharifa Sekalala, Lisa Forman, Roojin Habibi and Benjamin Meier, “Health and human rights are inextricably linked in the COVID-19 response,” (2020) BMJ Global Health 5:e003359, 1-7.
- Brigit Toebes, Lisa Forman and Giulio Bartolini, “Towards human rights consistent responses to health emergencies: What is the overlap between core right to health obligations and core International Health Regulation capacities?” (2020) Harvard Health and Human Rights Journal 1-16 (50% drafting and conceptualization).
- Lisa Forman, “Reflections on the evolution of the right to health in the shadow of COVID-19,” (2020) 22:1 Harvard Health and Human Rights Journal 375-378, https://www.hhrjournal.org/2020/04/the-evolution-of-the-right-to-health-in-the-shadow-of-covid-19/
- Allyn L Taylor, Roojin Habibi, Gian Luca Burci, Stephanie Dagron, Mark Eccleston-Turner, Lawrence O Gostin, Benjamin Mason Meier, Alexandra Phelan, Pedro A Villarreal, Alicia Ely Yamin, Danwood Chirwa, Lisa Forman, Gorik Ooms, Sharifah Sekalala, Steven J Hoffman, “Solidarity in the Wake of COVID-19: Reimagining the International Health Regulations,” (2020) The Lancet 396: 82-83.
- Roojin Habibi, Gian Luca Burci, Thana C de Campos, Danwood Chirwa, Margherita Cinà, Stéphanie Dagron, Mark Eccleston-Turner, Lisa Forman, Lawrence O Gostin, Benjamin Mason Meier, Stefania Negri, Gorik Ooms, Sharifah Sekalala, Allyn Taylor, Alicia Ely Yamin, *Steven J Hoffman, “Do not violate the International Health Regulations during the COVID-19 outbreak,” (2020) 395 The Lancet 664-666, published online 13 February 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30373-1.
- Lisa Forman, “International human rights law and the social determinants of health,” in Solomon Benatar and Gillian Brock, eds., Global Health and Global Health Ethics (Cambridge University Press), in press.
- Lisa Forman, Claire E. Brolan, and Kristi Heather Kenyon, “Global health, human rights, and the law,” (2019) The Lancet 394:30, 1987.
- Katrina Perehudoff and Lisa Forman, “What constitutes ‘reasonable’ State action on core obligations? Considering a right to health framework toprovide essential medicines,” (2019) 11 Journal of Human Rights Practice 1-19.
- Lisa Forman, Claire E. Brolan and Kristi Heather Kenyon, eds., Special Issue on the right to health and the social determinants of health, Harvard Journal of Health and Human Rights (2018) 20:2 Harvard Journal of Health and Human Rights 1-56.
- Lisa Forman,“What do human rights bring to discussions of power and politics in health policy and systems?” (2017) Global Public Health DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2017.1405457.
- Lisa Forman, “Human rights treaties are an important part of the ‘international health instrumentariam’: Commentary on Haik Nikogosianand Ilona Kickbusch, ‘The Legal Strength of International Health Instruments – What It Brings to Global Health Governance?’ (2017) 6:X International Journal of Health Policy and Management 1-3.
- Lisa Forman,“The global policy response to trade-related intellectual property rights and access to medicines in low and middle-income countries,” (2017) 31: 8 Maryland Journal of International Law 7-20.
- Lisa Forman, Claudia Beiersmann, Claire E. Brolan, Martin McKee, Rachel Hammonds and Gorik Ooms, “What do core obligations under the right to health bring to universal health coverage?,” (2016) 18:2 Health and Human Rights Journal 23-34.
- 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
- 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