Public Health Law Research: Exploring Law in Public Health Systems

The importance of law in the organization and operation of public health systems has long been a matter of interest to public health lawyers and practitioners, but empirical research on law as a factor in health system performance has been limited in quantity and sophistication. The emergence of Public Health Law Research and Public Health Systems and Services Research within a coordinated effort to strengthen public health research and practice has dramatically changed matters.

This article introduces Public Health Law Research as an integral part of Public Health Systems and Services Research, discusses the challenges of integrating the two fields, and highlights two examples of current research that demonstrate the benefits of an integrated approach to improve the use of law in public health practice.