LAWS 3061 Public Health Law

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 200702

Coordinator Liesel Spencer Opens in new window

Description This unit considers various legal issues related to population health. This area of law is relatively new and continually developing and expanding. This unit is primarily concerned with how law has and should respond to various health dilemmas at the population level. These include State protection of the community from death (for example requiring road users to wear a seatbelt or helmet) and disease including both communicable disease (for example immunisation, quarantine and managing disease outbreaks) and non-communicable disease (for example smoking, alcohol, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease). This unit also considers frameworks for evaluating whether public health laws are justifiable regulation, taking into account the balance between public good and the autonomy of individuals.

School Law

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Pre-requisite(s) LAWS 1006 OR
LAWS 1003 OR
LAWS 1006

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Critically examine and evaluate the legal regime relating to public health.
  2. Contribute to meaningful discussion about law's role in current public health concerns.
  3. Analyse the rights concerns inherent in regulation for the health of the public.
  4. Analyse in depth two of the particular topic areas covered in the subject.
  5. Communicate effectively, orally and in writing.

Subject Content

State responses to population health problems including death, and disease outbreaks both communicable and non-communicable
Public health law as regulation of health risks at the population level
Evaluation of public health regulation including the balance between public good and individual freedoms


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
In class Debate Students will be required to present arguments for one side of a debate in one seminar, and required to attend all other debates and provide input into the post-debate discussions 30 N Individual
Reflective Report on In-Class Debate 1,000 words 20 N Individual
Research Essay 3,000 words 50 N Individual

Teaching Periods