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Australian Public Health Law – Contemporary Issues and Challenges

Cover art for Australian Public Health LawA new book, Australian Public Health Law – Contemporary Issues and Challenges (Federation Press 2023), considers the scope and future evolution of Australian public health law.

Edited by Belinda Bennett and Ian Freckelton AO KC, this collection brings together leading Australian scholars to analyse the role of law in supporting public health. Divided into five parts, the book’s chapters examine the scope of Australian public health law; public health law, rights and ethics; communicable diseases; non-communicable diseases; and the role of public health law in society.

Chapter contents

Part A: The Scope of Public Health Law
1. The Evolving Scope of Public Health Law
Belinda Bennett and Ian Freckelton
2. The Global Dimensions of Public Health Law
Belinda Bennett
3. Inheritance, Tradition and Reform: The Evolution of Australian Public Health Law
Gabrielle Wolf
4. Constitutional Issues Arising from Restrictions on Freedom of Movement During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
Peta Stephenson
5. Law’s Role in Strengthening Public Health in Australia: Ideologies and Strategies for a Healthier Society
Roger Magnusson
6. Consumer Protection against False and Misleading Promotion of Health Services
Ian Freckelton

Part B: Public Health Law, Rights and Ethics
7. Limiting Rights and Freedoms in the Name of Public Health: Ensuring Accountability during the COVID-19 Pandemic Response
Lorraine Finlay and Rosalind Croucher
8. Just the Three of Us: Public Health, Public Health Ethics and Public Health Law
Cameron Stewart, Roger Magnusson and Ian Kerridge
9. More than Black Printed Words on White Paper: Intergenerational Health Justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Sandra Creamer AM, Maree Toombs, Avelina Tarrago, Renee Williams, Jed Fraser, Caitlin Curtis and Claire E Brolan
10. Australia’s Framework for Access to Essential Medicines: Patent Law, Public Health and Pandemics
Matthew Rimmer
11. Mental Health and Public Health Law
Penelope Weller and Ian Freckelton
12. Genomics and Public Health
Margaret Otlowski and Dianne Nicol

Part C: Communicable Diseases
13. Infectious Disease Governance in Australia and the Problem of Complex Systems
Cameron Stewart and Ian Kerridge
14. Public Health and Sex Work
John Scott
15. Preparing for and Responding to Pandemics: The Role of Public Health Law
Belinda Bennett
16. Australian Vaccination Laws
Gabrielle Wolf and Ian Freckelton

Part D: Non-Communicable Diseases
17. Alcohol and Public Health Law in Australia
Paula O’Brien
18. The Tobacco Endgame Avengers: Strategies for a Smoke-free Future in Australia
Matthew Rimmer
19. What’s on Your Plate? Food Systems, Law and Public Health
Belinda Reeve
20. Illicit Drugs
Kate Seear

Part E: Public Health Law in Society
21. Public Health and Workplace Regulation: Intersections and Influences
Joellen Riley Munton
22. Environmental Law and Public Health Law
Lee Godden
23. Public Health Law, Aged Care and Human Rights
Carmelle Peisah, Andrew Byrnes, William Mitchell and Anneliese Bergman
24. Contemporary Australian Legal Dimensions of Public Health for Children at Risk: COVID-19 and Beyond
Ben Mathews and Jesse Jones
25. Natural Disasters, Sustainability and Public Health Law
Belinda Bennett, Claire E Brolan and Vivienne Tippett
26. Coroners’ Death Investigations: Prevention and Public Health
Lyndal Bugeja, Ian Freckelton and David Ranson

About Belinda Bennett

Belinda Bennett

Belinda Bennett is a Professor of Health Law in the School of Law at QUT and a member of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research.

Belinda’s research engages with the legal, social and ethical issues in assisted reproduction, law and genetics, and global public health emergencies. You can read more about Belinda in her ACHLR member profile.

About Ian Freckelton AO KC

Ian Freckleton

Ian Freckelton is a King’s Counsel in practice as a barrister throughout Australia. He is a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nauru, a Professor of Law and a Professorial Fellow of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne, an Honorary Professor of Forensic Medicine at Monash University, and an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University in the United States. He is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, the Australian Academy of Law, the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, and the Australasian College of Legal Medicine.

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2021 for services to the law, and the legal profession, across fields including health, medicine, and technology.

He is an internationally recognised author of many books and over 700 articles and chapters of books, including about health law, coronial law, disciplinary law, evidence law, tort law, and criminal law.

You can read more about Ian at:


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