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Advancing Public Health through Strategic Litigation: Lessons from Five Countries

The law has a critical role to play in advancing public health in general, and in promoting the health of marginalized populations in particular. The Global Commission on HIV and the Law, for instance, has documented the positive role that strong legal protections can play specifically in addressing HIV. In its view, with interventions for an enhanced legal and policy environment, there could be one million fewer HIV infections than if no action were taken to enhance the current legal and policy environment.The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) have highlighted the importance of law for positive health outcomes for women, adolescents, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations, refugees, migrants and persons with disabilities.

In this report, we define strategic litigation expansively—it is litigation with an
intended impact beyond a particular case to influence broader change at the level of law, policy, practice, or social discourse. This definition recognizes that change is not always aimed at the level of law or policy, but sometimes at enforcement and practice or raising the visibility of an issue and changing attitudes.

Uploaded on: Nov 13, 2017
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2017
Year Published: 2016

Resource Tags

Resource Type: Practitioner Resources Issues: Community Organizing, Governance, Accountability & Transparency, Health, Legal Aid & Public Interest Law, Women's Rights Tool Type: Case Study, Manuals & Guides Languages: English Regions: Canada, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, Ukraine