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Understanding law can empower health.

Law can be a powerful tool for advancing global health, according to new report from The Lancet-O'Neill-Georgetown University Commission on Global Health and the Law.

Published in May in The Lancet, the report articulates why the law can be an especially pivotal force for health improvement, especially in bringing the universal right to health--a founding principle of the World Health Organization--to fruition. The report offers a number of examples of public health law success, such as tobacco control laws that have saved millions of lives and the promising results of soda taxes, which have resulted in significant declines in sugary drink consumption.

To maximize the public health impact of the law, the report calls for strengthening legal capacities in all countries; providing health law training for attorneys, legislators and judges; investing in legal research to create and assess the evidence of laws' cost-effectiveness; and disseminating best practices for improving and strengthening health-related law.

"Law can be a powerful tool for advancing global health, yet it remains substantially underutilized and poorly understood," the commission report stated. "Working in partnership, public health lawyers and health professionals can become champions for evidence-based laws to ensure the public's health and safety."

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Title Annotation:GLOBE IN BRIEF
Author:Krisberg, Kim
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Aug 1, 2019
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