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Andre den Exter


Med. pravo., 2017; 2(20): 11-22



Jean Monnet chair EU Health Law, Institute of Health Policy
and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam (The Netherlands)


Head of the Center for comparative studies in health law, Deputy head of the Association of medical law of Saint-Petersburg, lecturer of the Saint-Petersburg State University School of Law, PhD (Russian Federation)

Guidelines for Reviewing National Public Health Law

Public health law is generally considered as a key instrument to formulate and realize a national public health policy. Public health law is not a ‘static’ concept but evolves over time, depending on new understandings and developments. Updating and/or revision of the public health legal framework based on such new understandings in a comprehensive and coherent manner, is therefore crucial to make it work.

The idea of developing guidelines for reviewing national public health legislation is to strengthen the quality of public health legislation at national level. For that reason, it is conditional to identify underlying objectives (the conceptual framework), followed by mapping the public health legal framework, analyzing defined legal tools and actions to realize the public health objective(s), and to assess the effects of regulatory interventions. The outcomes may give reason to review the existing legal framework, whether it correspond with the underlying public health policy, or whether there is a need for modify, revise or even withdraw legislation, aimed at improving the quality of the national public health legal framework, and ultimately public health.

Key words: reviewing public health legislation, guidelines, health care, law of public health.

Reference list

1.  S. Chichevalieva, Developing a Framework for Public Health Law in Europe, WHO Regional Office for Europe 2011. p. 18.

2   Common European understanding for public health law, in definition, scope and the drafting process. Chichevalieva. note 4. 6.

3.   S. Chichevalieva and F. Chichevaliev, Developing a Framework for Public Health Law in Europe, in A. den Exter. European Health Law, Maklu Antwerp 2017, p. 26.

4.  WHO, IHR 2005 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, Joint External Evaluation Tool, 2016. See also, Public Health policy and legislation instruments and tools an updated review and proposal for further research WHO 2012 Review of public health capacities and services in the European region Self assessment tool for the evaluation of essential public health operations in the WHO European region WHO 2015.

5.  WHO Tallinn Charter Health Systems for Health and Wealth Ministerial Conference 25-27 June 2008 Tallinn, Estonia.

6   WHO Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, First International Conference on Health Promotion, Ottawa, 21 November 1986.

7.  As covered by the UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG, more specific Goal no. 3Ensure health lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, as well as intersectoral levels of justice and peace under Goal no. 16 promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

8.  WHO Regional Office for Europe, Selfassessment tool for the evaluation of essential public health operations in the WHO European region, WHO 2015, p. 3.

9.  WHO Regional Office for Europe, Public Health policy and legislation instruments and tools an updated review and proposal for further research 2012 p. 2.

10. R. Martin, Public Health Law, 2009. 5 Perspectives in Public Health, p. 200.

11. From burden to best buys reducing the economic impact of NCDs in low and middle income countries. Geneva WHO 2011.

12. In more detail, see A. den Exter and T. Hervey eds, EU Health Law. Treaty Text and Legislation, Maklu Press Antwerp 2014.

13. E.g., the European Commission has been dealing with the better regulation agenda under the REFIT program European Commission. Communication on Better regulation Delivering better results for a stronger Union. Brussels. 14 September 2016 COM, 2016,615 final. European Commission. DG Market Guide to Evaluating Legistion, Brussels March 2008. A.P. den Exter, Health care law-making in Central and Eastern Europe. Maklu Press Antwerp, 2002.

14. OECD, Evaluating Laws and Regulations. The case of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies, 2012, p. 10.

15. E. A. Friedman, An Independent Review and Accountability Mechanism for the Sustainable Development Goals The Possibilities of a Framework Convention on Global Health, 2016.1 Health and Human Rights Journal.

16. WHO. Enforcement of Public Health Legislation, WHO Western Pacific Region 2006, 12.

17. European Court of Human Rights, Guide to Article 6 of the Convention Right to a fair trial. 2013.

18. J. Alper, et al, Financing Population Health Improvement Workshop Summary, Institute of Medicine, Washington 2014 J. Kutzin et al, Implementing Health Financing Reforms. Lessons from countries in transition, European Observatory on Health System and Policies, WHO, 2010.

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