Sanya Samtani

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The covid-19 pandemic has highlighted issues concerning equitable access to and participation in research. But research has always been indispensable to human development. To what extent does international law guarantee access to research as well as the practice of researching? Drawing on the social anthropology definition of research as the pursuit of that which is not yet known, this paper locates a novel human right to research within the core international human rights covenants. The paper sets out the scope and content of the right and the nature and content of State obligations flowing from it. It concludes by outlining the implications of recognizing this right for intersecting legal regimes like intellectual property law.