Update and Summary Guide to the Report: 'Advancing the Right to Health: The Vital Role of Law'

World Health Organization, Geneva, 2018. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 18/80

63 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2018 Last revised: 28 Feb 2019

See all articles by Alexandra Phelan

Alexandra Phelan

Center for Global Health Science & Security; Georgetown University, Law Center

Roger Magnusson

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: November 29, 2018

Abstract

In September 2018 the World Health Organisation published an Update and Summary Guide to the report Advancing the Right to Health: the Vital Role of Law. The aim of the original report, published in January 2017, was to raise awareness about the role that the reform of public health law can play in advancing the right to health and creating the conditions in which people can live healthy lives. This report discusses the role of law across a wide range of health-related topics, with examples of legislative interventions from jurisdictions around the world.

The Update and Summary Guide maintains this focus: it provides an introduction to the role of law in health development, with links to the full report, while also drawing attention to topics that were beyond the scope of the original report, and to links between law and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals.

The Update and Summary Guide integrates new health data and refers to new developments, including the list of highly cost–effective legal measures for reducing risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), drawn from the updated Appendix 3 of the WHO Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of NCDs. It also references selected new decisions, such as the unsuccessful claim by a tobacco company against Uruguay’s tobacco control laws, and the decision of the Constitutional Court of Colombia confirming the right to receive information about the health effects of sugary drinks.

The Update and Summary Guide to the report: Advancing the right to health – the vital role of law can be downloaded free of charge from WHO, or from IDLO.

Note: The Update and Summary Guide is the is the result of a collaboration between the World Health Organisation, the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO), the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA, and Sydney Law School, University of Sydney. The Project Directors were: Professor Lawrence O. Gostin, Linda D. and Timothy J. O’Neill Professor of Global Health, Law and University Professor, Georgetown University; Faculty Director, O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University; Mr David Patterson, Senior Legal Expert – Health; Department of Research & Learning, International Development Law Organization (IDLO); Professor Roger Magnusson, Professor of Health Law & Governance, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney; Oscar Cabrera, Program Coordinator, Healthy Families Initiative, O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center. Principal WHO staff in Geneva who collaborated on the project were: Dr Rüdiger Krech, Director, Universal Health Coverage and Health Systems, WHO; and Steve Solomon, Principal Legal Officer, Office of the Legal Counsel, WHO. The authors of the Update and Summary Guide were: Ms Alexandra Phelan, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center and Professor Roger Magnusson, Professor of Health Law & Governance, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney.

Keywords: public health law, regulation, governance, communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, legislation, human rights, right to health, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K32

Suggested Citation

Phelan, Alexandra and Magnusson, Roger, Update and Summary Guide to the Report: 'Advancing the Right to Health: The Vital Role of Law' (November 29, 2018). World Health Organization, Geneva, 2018. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO, Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 18/80, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3292701

Alexandra Phelan

Center for Global Health Science & Security

3900 Reservoir Road, N.W.
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Georgetown University, Law Center ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

Roger Magnusson (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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