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Food governance

Drawing upon public health law to regulate private behaviour

We’re exploring how governments can use legal strategies to create conditions for people to live healthier lives.

Our collaboration team seeks to find solutions at the junction of law and public health, drawing on legal expertise across the University and its medical research institutes, fostering collaboration between lawyers and clinicians, nutritionists, health scientists, policymakers and others to develop practical solutions and create real change.

We plan to take a public health law approach to recognise that the law can be used to create conditions for people to live healthier lives. This approach will include drawing on lessons from Australia’s global leadership in tobacco control and considering the divergence of health risk factors and commercial profits. Our project node will use the concept of ‘responsive regulation’ as a progressive approach to regulation where industry interests are involved.

Our team will use a cross-disciplinary platform to explore the use of regulatory strategies to prevent diet-related disease and promote healthier diets.

This research will empower governments to regulate private behaviour to promote public health. Legal strategies like new legislation, heightened regulatory enforcement and litigation can be a highly cost-effective mechanism to deliver health benefits to the population.

Project Node Leader

Alexandra Jones

Project Node Leader

Dr Belinda Reeve