Document Type : Article


1 Prof., Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D. Student in Public International Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



The outbreak of the Corona Virus in China has led to a pandemic which causes adverse effects on economic, social and humanitarian aspects of international community. The World Health Organization (WHO ) statute and international Health Regulation 2005 are two main treaties on respond to, prevent and protect against the widespread diseases which oblige parties to the treaties to notify and inform WHO without delay and efficiently. Since the right to health and right to life, two fundamental rights, are endangered in pandemic, it seems timely notification and due respond of origin country become a customary rule reflected in United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The Chinese government as the party to above mentioned treaties, has violated its treaty and non-treaty obligations by failure to inform, consult with and respond timely to WHO and threatening those who informed about it. So its international responsibility can be invoked, something which will be examined in this article and the possibility of filing lawsuit in International Court of justice will be analyzed too.


  1. English

    1. A) Articles
    2. Aginam, O. (2002), “International law and communicable diseases”, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 80, pp 946-951.
    3. Argentini, M. (2021), “Right to Health and Obligation of Prompt Notification: Possible China’s International Responsibility in Relation to Covid-19”, Revista Jurídica Portucalense, pp.43-60.
    4. Creutz, K. (2020), “China’s Responsibility for the COVID-19 Pandemic”, Finnish Institute of International Affairs working paper, 115, pp.1-15.
    5. Sirleaf, M. (2018), “Responsibility for epidemics”, Tex. L. Rev., 97, pp.101-169
    6. Usulor, C. (2020), “COVID-19: Examining China's Liability under International Law”, Available at SSRN 3667341, pp.1-7
    7. B) Documents
    8. Constitution of the World Health Organization
    9. International Health Regulations (2005)
    10. International Labour Organization, Covid-19 and the world of work, 25 january 2021
    11. statute of the international court of justice
    12. the role of the international court of justice
    13. UNICEF GLOBAL COVID-19 Situation Report, No. 12 September 2020


    1. C) Cases
    2. ICJ, Alleged Violations of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights (Islamic Republic of Iran v United States of America), 2018
    3. ICJ, Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, advisory opinions,1996
    4. ICJ, Legality of the Use by a State of Nuclear Weapons in Armed Conflict (Request for Advisory Opinion by the World Health Organization(,1995


    References In Persian:

    1. A) Books
    2. Ebrahimgol,A. (2017), The Draft articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts with commentaries 2001, Shahre Dansh Publication, ISBN:978-964-8200-53-9 (In Persian).
    3. Mafi, H. (2018). Collection of Rules and Regulations of International law, Majd Publication, ISBN:978-600-193-108-6 (In Persian).


    1. B) Articles
    2. Abdollahi, M. (2012), “Approaches of the International Liability Regime In the Case of Injuries Arising out of Acts Non-Prohibited by International Law”, Legal Research Quarterly, Vol.56, pp.211-278 (In Persian).
    3. Ebrahimgol, A., Roshanfekr, P., & Lotfi, S. A. T. (2021), “Human Rights and Fighting Infectious Disease: Necessities and Challenges”, Public Law Studies Quarterly, 51(1), 263-283 (In Persian).
    4. Fazaeli, M., & Setayeshpur, M. (2020), “Static Interpretation of the International Court of Justice in Establishing Responsibility for Genocide: Scrutinizing the Case of Croatia v. Serbia (2015)”, Public Law Studies Quarterly, Vol.50, No.1, pp.333-351 (In Persian).
    5. Matni,H. (2020), “Investigating the effects of Covid 19 on the global economy". Social Impact Assessment Quarterly, Special issue of the consequences of the outbreak of Covid 19, Vol.1, No.2, pp.163-181 (In Persian).
    6. Mohebi, M..Bazzar, V. (2018), “Concept of Invocation to International Responsibility with Emphasis on the Draft Articles of International Law Commission (2001), Public Law Studies Quarterly, Vol.48, No.1, pp.201-222 (In Persian).
    7. Rahimi,Gh. (2010), “World Health Organization”, journal of paramedicine faculty, Vol.8, No.5, pp.53-56 (In Persian).
    8. Seyed Fatemi, S.M. Gh. (2000), “Right to life”, Legal Research Quarterly, Vol.31, No.3, pp.150-166 (In Persian).