Developing a framework for public health law in Europe



The differences in legal and public health systems in Europe are reflected in public health legislation. A combined approach, involving the incorporation of public health issues into other legislation and the enactment of a specific public health law, is most likely to address the complexity of public health needs. The document advocates a common European understanding for the definition, scope and drafting process of public health law, and emphasizes the need for a clear philosophical framework. It specifically addresses risk-based approaches where it is commonly understood that a fundamental aim of public health regulation is to prevent, reduce and manage public health risks. The document concludes that public health law is intended to create an environment in which the promotion of health goes hand-in-hand with the protection of individual rights and the general principles of equality and justice.