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Module code: LW459
Credits: 10
Semester: 2
International: Yes
Overview Overview

The Covid-19 pandemic has not only revealed large gaps in the legal preparedness of nations, regions, and the international community to control infectious disease outbreaks – it has also thrown the value of public health work into the spotlight, along with the way in which the law attempts to balance that value with other important societal interests. This module will give students the opportunity to explore the key legal questions raised by current public health practice - not only those arising in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also those that persisted before Covid, and will likely remain contentious long after Covid-19 has passed into history. Through a series of topical case studies, students will confront questions such as: is there a right to health, what does it protect, and when?; are there interventions that the law prevents governments undertaking in the name of public health?; should private interests be involved in the making of public health rules?; how should science be incorporated in public health legislative design?; Is legislation the only way of protecting the public’s health?; When are public health interventions unethical? Students will be encouraged to engage with the science, ethics and politics of public health policy, and the relationship these factors have with the law. Most of all, students will engage not only in doctrinal thinking, but will develop their skills as policy thinkers and advocates

Indicative case study list (may change each year at the discretion of the module lecturer):

Alcohol marketing

Sugar taxation

E-cigarette sales

Vaccination Hesitance

Pandemic preparedness treaties

Air pollution

Anti-Microbial resistance


Health misinformation

Public health and digital technology

Open Learning Outcomes
Open Teaching & Learning methods
Open Assessment
Open Autumn Supplementals/Resits
Open Timetable
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