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McCabe Centre wins international award for work to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases through law

Friday 25 September, 2020

The McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer was honoured for its action to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) with a 2020 UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (UNIATF) Award.

The UNIATF Awards were presented Thursday by World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The awards recognise government agencies, UN country teams, and non-governmental organisations that make outstanding contributions to prevent and control NCDs at local, national, regional and international levels.

The McCabe Centre was one of 15 recipients in 2020, and the only recipient based in Australia.

“We are so grateful to be honoured for our efforts to address NCDs using law, and proud to share the honour with our fantastic partners and alumni,” says Hayley Jones, Acting Director of the McCabe Centre. “Action to prevent and control NCDs has become more important than ever because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we remain committed to working across sectors to respond to health issues and create sustainable change.”

The McCabe Centre is the only centre of its kind in the world advancing law to fight cancer and other NCDs and promote equitable access to safe, effective and affordable care for people affected by them. Its work includes world-leading research and a capacity building program which since 2014 has trained more than 200 lawyers and policymakers from 70 countries on effective use of law to address cancer and other NCDs.

To date, after attending training, alumni in 19 countries have successfully supported the passing of laws and/or regulations contributing to NCD prevention and control. Alumni in six countries have also successfully defended public health laws from legal challenges by the tobacco industry, drawing critical support from the McCabe Centre’s experience in this area.

Established in 2012 by Founding Director Jonathan Liberman, the McCabe Centre is a joint initiative of Cancer Council Victoria, UICC, and Cancer Council Australia. The centre’s nine staff members are based in Australia, the Philippines, Fiji and Kenya.

The award also recognises the McCabe Centre’s portfolio of knowledge sharing activities, its strong partnerships and collaborations, and its expert contributions to panels, consultations and publications that influenced NCD policy around the world.

“Thanks to the McCabe Centre’s efforts, great strides have been made in the area of cancer control and law, both internationally and locally,” says Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper. “The global network of legal and public health professionals the McCabe Centre has trained and supported are making tangible changes to how governments use law and regulation to reduce the NCD burden.”

The McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer is the WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub on Legal Challenges, and the WHO Collaborating Centre on Law and Noncommunicable Disease. The McCabe Centre’s legal training programs are supported primarily by the Australian

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, while funding to support the Knowledge Hub is provided by the Australian Department of Health. For more information, visit or contact:

Daniel Punch
Communications Manager
McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer
T: +61 3 9514 6404