Does your organisation work in Law? Find out about the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer initiative.

The McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer is a joint initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Cancer Council Victoria (CCV). Its mission is to contribute to the effective use of law for cancer prevention, treatment, supportive care and research. 

The McCabe Centre is based at CCV in Melbourne, Australia. CCV is a global leader in cancer control, with internationally recognised expertise in areas including behavioural research and epidemiology. Within this environment, the McCabe Centre works to build connections between disciplines, creating opportunities to use the law more effectively in all aspects of cancer control.

The McCabe Centre:

  • conducts research, policy development, advocacy and training
  • develops and disseminates materials on the relationship between law and cancer control
  • provides cancer control organisations and others with an interest in cancer control with a place (both real and virtual) to go for information
  • provides a forum for discussion and sharing of information and experience
  • connects lawyers, legal academics and law students with cancer control researchers and advocates and other disciplines

Over the last year, the McCabe Centre has substantially scaled up its advocacy and training work. Recent highlights include:

  • From 10 February to 7 March 2014, the McCabe Centre held an Intensive Legal Training Programme, providing intensive training on law-and-cancer issues, primarily for government lawyers in low- and middle-income countries. A structured three week curriculum covered legal issues across the cancer continuum from prevention to treatment and supportive care, with a focus on regulating risk factors, particularly tobacco use. Participants were offered the opportunity to spend a further fourth week applying knowledge and skills gained towards a project of national or regional significance with support from McCabe Centre staff and other experts. Participants overwhelmingly reported that the training improved their understanding and ability to use law for cancer prevention.
  • In November 2013, the McCabe Centre, in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Africa, conducted a workshop, “Constitutional, Trade and Investment Challenges to Tobacco Control in the South African Customs Union Region”. This workshop, held as a satellite event to the UICC World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, covered substantive legal issues relating to trade and investment agreements, and constitutional challenges to tobacco control measures, as well as building political support for tobacco control and ensuring whole-of-government coherence. Evaluation indicated that the workshop successfully sensitised participants to legal, trade and investment issues commonly arising in implementation of the WHO FCTC, and how these can be addressed through the cooperation of relevant government departments. 
  • In conjunction with the Norwegian Cancer Society, the McCabe Centre hosted a workshop in Oslo on ‘Using the law effectively for cancer control in Europe’ in March of 2013. This was the McCabe Centre’s first major event with NCS, their Collaborating Centre for Europe, and brought together cancer control organisations, researchers and advocates from across Europe. The event featured focus sessions on tobacco control, obesity and the legal rights of people with cancer.

The McCabe Centre anticipates that through successes like these in training and advocacy within 5 years its network will reach out to a network of over 250 lawyers.

The McCabe Centre looks forward to continuing to engage with UICC members and partners interested in the use of law for cancer control. We would be pleased to hear from members and partners interested in participating in or supporting our training activities, or in conducting similar trainings in their own countries or regions. For those attending the World Cancer Congress in Melbourne in December, keep an eye out for McCabe Centre staff who will be participating in a number of Congress sessions, or visit us at UICC’s Global Village where we will be showcasing our ongoing activities. We will also be co-running a pre-Congress Master Class “Using legal expertise in cancer control: tips for getting past the lawyer jokes and making it work”.

Find out more here.

Until then, we welcome your email enquiries at