Public Health Law

Subject LAWS70145 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

May, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.
Prerequisites: N.A.
Corequisites: N.A.
Recommended Background Knowledge: Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.
Non Allowed Subjects: Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.
Core Participation Requirements: N.A.


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters Office by email at or phone 8344 6190 or visit our website
Subject Overview:

  • History of public health law in Australia
  • How public health policy and legislation are developed
  • Obesity; what can the law do?
  • Indigenous Australians and public health law
  • Introduction to drugs and therapeutic goods regulation in Australia
  • Developing policy and legislation for medicines, poisons, therapeutic goods and pharmacy in Fiji
  • Pharmaceutical promotion, fair comment and the law in Australia
  • Coercive powers, human rights and the AIDS pandemic
  • Laws to manage HIV in Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Australia, and issues arising in legislation policy in developed and developing countries
  • Expert interactive panel on a case study involving HIV laws in Australia
  • The Federal system and its effect on lawmaking in public health
  • Emergency powers: State by State (and Territory) comparison and options for a national legislative approach
  • International treaties and public health law:
    • The international health regulations
    • Framework convention on tobacco.

A candidate who has successfully completed the subject should:

  • Understand the history of public health law over the past century
  • Understand some of the different theories and philosophies that have underpinned approaches to public health law
  • Understand the use of law as a mechanism to protect population health and ways in which it can be applied
  • Understand the implications of the Federal system for lawmaking in public health
  • Understand how public health law is approached in jurisdictions in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific
  • Have studied and participated in discussions on several recent case studies in public health law that illustrate some of the broader themes of the subject
  • Understand the tensions between promotion of public good and protection of private rights
  • Understand current trends in public health lawmaking both in Australia and internationally.
  • Take-home examination (50%) (25-28 June 2010)
  • Research paper 5,000 words (50%) (5 August) (topic approved by the subject coordinator)
Prescribed Texts:

C. Reynolds, Public Health Law and Regulation (The Federation Press, 2004)

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.
Links to further information:

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