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Unit information: Public and Global Health Law in 2020/21

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Unit name Public and Global Health Law
Unit code LAWDM0131
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. John Coggon
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit aims to embed a knowledge and critical understanding of the related fields of Public and Global Health Law, considered in historical, social, and theoretical contexts. The Unit will cover the relationships between population health and law and policy, including the practical and theoretical issues associated with ‘population approaches’, and by introducing the established and growing academic fields of public and global health ethics. Historical and contemporary perspectives, related to contemporary challenges and problems concerning population health and globalisation. As such, it will consider both general matters of framing the fields, and apply these to specific problems. The unit is characterised by its strong combination of teaching and research-led learning methods.

Intended learning outcomes

The Unit aims to develop an understanding of Public and Global Health Law, situated in broader historical, social, and theoretical contexts.

On completion of the Unit, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse critically the ideas of Public and Global Health
  2. Have a critical understanding of the relationships between Public and Global Health with Law and other modes of social coordination
  3. Analyse critically the different methods of engaging with Public and Global Health Law (e.g. historical, philosophical)
  4. Undertake independent research and critical analysis in relation to questions raised on the Unit
  5. Apply critically such knowledge and understanding through a research-led law reform project
  6. State relevant law and other modes of regulation accurately
  7. Apply legal and political principles to practical questions concerning Public and Global Health Law

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Details

1 x summative assessment: 1x Law Reform Project (100%) with a specified word count

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

Specific reading lists will be provided within the Unit Guide as updated annually. These will include textbook readings, primary legal and regulatory materials, and secondary materials such as public reports and academic works.

Indicative points of reference:

  • John Coggon, What Makes Health Public? A critical evaluation of moral, legal, and political claims in public health (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
  • John Coggon, Keith Syrett, A.M. Viens, Public Health Law—Ethics, Governance, and Regulation (Routledge, 2017)
  • Michael Freeman, Sarah Hawkes, and Belinda Bennett (eds), Law and Global Health (Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • Lawrence O. Gostin and Lindsay F. Wiley (eds), Public Health Law and Ethics 3rd edn (University of California Press, 2018)
  • Lawrence O. Gostin, John T. Monahan, Jenny Kaldor, Mary DeBartolo, Eric A. Friedman, Katie Gottschalk, et al., 'The Legal Determinants of Health; Harnessing the Power of Law for Global Health and Sustainable Development' The Lancet (2019) 393:10183, 1857-1910