Gian Luca Burci

Gian Luca BURCI

Senior Visiting Professor, INTERNATIONAL LAW
Academic Advisor, Global Health Centre
Director, Joint Graduate Institute/Georgetown LLM in Global Health Law and Governance
Spoken languages
English, French, Italian, Spanish
Areas of expertise
  • International law (public, private)
  • International organisations, UN
  • World Health Organization
  • Global Health Law
  • Global Health Governance
  • International Immunities



Gian Luca Burci is Adjunct Professor of international law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva since 2012.  He is also the Director of the joint LLM on Global Health Law and Governance between the Graduate Institute and Georgetown Law School, as well as Academic Adviser in the Global Health Centre of the Graduate Institute.  Since 2016, Prof. Burci is Visiting Professor and Senior Scholar at the O’Neill Center on National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University School of Law.

Before his appointment at the Graduate Institute, Gian Luca Burci served in the Legal Office of the World Health Organization from 1998 to 2016 and was its Legal Counsel from 2005 to 2016. Professor Burci previously worked in the Department of International Cooperation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (1998-1999) and the Office of the Legal Counsel of the United Nations, where he was designated focal point for UN economic sanctions (1989-1998). During his service in WHO, he was involved in the negotiation and implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the revision and implementation of the International Health Regulations, WHO’s response to the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic and the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak as well as the institutional aspects of WHO reform. 

Prof. Burci holds a post graduate degree in law from the University of Genova, Italy. His areas of expertise are public international law, the law and practice of international organizations as well as global health governance and law. His courses at the Graduate Institute include the law and practice of international organizations, international legal advising and advocacy, and global health law. Prof. Burci is the co-author of the leading English book on WHO, editor of the first research collection on global health law, co-editor of the first research handbook on global health law and author of numerous articles and book chapters.  He is a member of the editorial board of the International Organization Law Review and the co-founder of the Interest Group on International Health Law of the European Society of International Law.





  • Gian Luca Burci, Claude-Henri Vignes, "The World Health Organization", (Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 2004).
  • Gian Luca Burci (ed.), “Global Health Law”, Research Collection (Elgar, 2016)
  • Gian Luca Burci, Brigit Toebes (eds.), “Global Health Law”, Elgar Research Handbook (Elgar, 2018)



  • “The Maintenance of International Peace and Security by the United Nations: Actions by the Security Council Under Chapter VII of the Charter”, in Prospects for Reform of the United Nations System (Milano, Italy, Giuffrè, 1993), pp. 123-157
  • “United Nations Peace-Keeping Operations in Situations of Internal Conflict: Some Legal Problems”, in T.SELLERS (ed.), State Sovereignty, Human Rights and Self-Determination of Peoples (Berg, London 1996), pp. 232-272
  • “Indirect Effects of United Nations Sanctions on Third States: the Role of Article 50 of the Charter”, in African Yearbook of International Law 2 (1994), pp. 57-71
  • "The United Nations Human Rights Council", The Italian Yearbook of International Law 25 (2005), pp. 25-41.
  • "World Health Organization", in Dizionario di diritto pubblico (Dictionary of public law), VI (Giuffré, Milan, 2006).
  • “Public/Private Partnerships in the Public Health Sector” , in International Organization Law Review (2009), pp. 359-382
  • Gian Luca Burci, Riikka Koskenmaki, "Human Rights Implications of Governance Responses to Public Health Emergencies: The Case of Major Infectious Disease Outbreaks", in A. Clapham & M. Robinson (eds.), Realizing the Right to Health (Zurich, Rüffer & Rub, 2009), pp. 346-358.
  • Andrew Cassels, Ian Smith, Gian Luca Burci, Reforming WHO: the art of the possible, 128 Public Health (2014), pp. 202-204
  • Gian Luca Burci, Egle Granziera, ‘Privileges and Immunities of the World Health Organization: Practice and Challenges’ 10 International Organization Law Review (2014), pp. 349-372.
  • “The World Health Organization at 70: Challenges and Adaptations”, 16 International Organizations Law Review (2019), pp. 229-241.
  • Kristina Daugirdas and Gian Luca Burci, “Financing the World Health Organization: What Lessons for Multilateralism” 16 International Organizations Law Review (2019), pp. 299-338.
  • Gian Luca Burci, Andrew Cassels, “Health”, in Jacob Katz Cogan, Ian Hurd, Ian Johnstone (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of International Organizations, (Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 447-471.
  • “Health and Infectious Diseases” in Thomas G. Weiss, Sam Daws (eds.), The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations (2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 679-694.
  • “Health: Practitioner Comment” in Simon Chesterman, David M. Malone and Santiago Villalpando (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of United Nations Treaties (Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 355-362. 
Gian Luca Burci

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Gian Luca Burci