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The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER)

ASPHER is the key independent European organisation dedicated to strengthening the role of public health by improving education and training of public health professionals for both practice and research.
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Conference on Strategic Litigation & Public Health, 15-16 June in Liverpool, UK and online
When: 15 Jun 2023 - 16 Jun 2023
Organiser: School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool

The Law & Non-Communicable Diseases Research Unit at the University of Liverpool is hosting a hybrid conference in partnership with ASPHER that will explore how strategic litigation can contribute to the promotion of better health for all. 

Through litigation, individuals and groups can challenge the actions and inactions of public and private bodies, whilst testing the meaning of laws and their proper implementation. When strategically chosen to have an impact beyond the individual case, litigation can have far greater reach. Strategic litigation can determine the outcome of future cases, influence governmental practices, change public discourse, and hold public and private actors to account. As such, it can support long-lasting legal and policy reforms and is a powerful tool to improve health for all. Nonetheless, it has been underused by the public health community so far.

The conference will adopt an interdisciplinary viewpoint, with participants from multiple disciplines and backgrounds. It will explore how to ensure that public health practitioners and lawyers are well equipped to work with each other to support effective litigation strategies, and the role and importance of social mobilisation in pursuing the urgent reforms required to promote healthier environments.

The first day of the conference will focus on overarching themes and deal with the following questions:

• What is the role of strategic litigation in promoting better human health, planetary health and the One Health approach?

• How does strategic litigation relate to other advocacy mechanisms?

• What has been and could be the specific contribution of human rights strategic litigation?

• How useful are the right to a healthy environment and the rights of future generations?

• How can human rights principles be more systematically invoked in strategic litigation to promote better health?

• How can the public health community mobilise itself more effectively to litigate strategically to change environments and promote planetary and human health?

• What are the limits (procedural or otherwise) of strategic litigation?

• How can interdisciplinary teams of public health and legal practitioners best work together to increase the impact of strategic litigation?

The second day will reflect specifically on the potential of strategic litigation to (1) address the health impacts of the climate crisis and chronic diseases associated with air pollution and other forms of environmental degradation; and (2) deteriorating food environments and the prevention of diet-related diseases. In particular, we are seeking to explore how the rapidly developing case law on environmental protection may generate ideas for strategic litigation on healthy diets and other related fields.

Apart from the interdisciplinarity this conference actively seeks to promote, we will also welcome a diverse, international audience, with confirmed participants to date from Europe, the Americas and Africa, and a mix of researchers from early career to more established, senior researchers.

If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact Professor Amandine Garde, Director of the Law & NCD Research Unit and President of EUPHA-LAW at:

We look forward to welcoming you to this event!

• What is the evidence that must be gathered and presented in court to increase the chances of a successful outcome, and how should such evidence be framed?

The first day will conclude with a keynote lecture from Dr Alicia El Yamin from Harvard Law School.

Download the conference brochure here.

Learn more about the keynote lectures here.

Register here.

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