Archive for 2018|Yearly archive page

Dr Mahoney: Modern Law Review article

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2018 at 6:45 pm

Dr Joan Mahoney, Teaching Fellow and member of HEAL within Southampton Law School, has co-authored a paper on Civil Liberties and the Korean War in the prestigious Modern Law Review.

This article addresses the unsuccessful attempts to suppress free speech during the Korean War, and in particular explains the attempts to silence three reporters of alleged atrocities by United Nations forces. In the absence of carefully targeted legislation, the three individuals – Alan Winnington (a journalist), Monica Felton (a women’s movement activist) and Jack Gaster (a solicitor) ‐ were threatened with or investigated for prosecution for treason or sedition, and Winnington was unable to renew his passport until 1968. Drawing heavily on archival sources (including MI5 files, which unusually fail to redact the identity of one of the lawyers who was reporting to Special Branch about Gaster’s activities), the article explores the threat to civil liberties from the administrative as well as the legislative and the judicial power of the state. The article concludes by drawing contemporary parallels, and highlighting the continuing relevance of the writings of Winnington, Felton and Gaster.

Please hyperlink Dr Joan Mahoney [https://www.southampton.ac.uk/law/about/staff/jem1c15.page], HEAL [https://www.southampton.ac.uk/heal/index.page], Southampton Law School [https://www.southampton.ac.uk/law/index.page], and Modern Law Review [https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1468-2230.12339]

Dr Nwabueze: Tampa Bay Time interview

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2018 at 6:44 pm

Dr Remigius Nwabueze, Associate Professor of Law and member of HEAL within Southampton Law School, was recently interviewed in a story by the Tampa Bay Times about a controversial case where the police used a dead man’s finger in an attempt to access his phone. In speaking about the incidence, Dr Nwabueze commented that “The law has been most cruel, really unforgiving to a dead person. It provides no entitlement or legal rights after death to a deceased person.”

Please hyperlink Dr Remigius Nwabueze [https://www.southampton.ac.uk/law/about/staff/nwabuez1.page], HEAL [https://www.southampton.ac.uk/heal/index.page], Southampton Law School [https://www.southampton.ac.uk/law/index.page], and Tampa Bay Times [http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/Cops-used-dead-man-s-finger-in-attempt-to-access-his-phone-It-s-legal-but-is-it-okay-_167262017]

Strengthening the Capacity for Ethical Public Health

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Originally posted on Better Health For All, the blog for the Faculty of Public Health.

Public health is proudly an evidence-based field. But evidence without values cannot tell us what we should do.

We need public health ethics if we are to understand and explain, by reference to the classic definition of public health advanced by Winslow, what we, as a society, ought to do to assure the conditions in which people can enjoy good health and equitable prospects for health. Using the ‘organised efforts of society’ to protect and promote health and well-being is an ethical goal—indeed, as many of us would argue, it is an ethical imperative. And to be achieved, it requires law and policy. To evaluate when threats to health warrant a public health response, scientific analyses must be complemented by matters such as the balancing of values, an assessment of the relative merits of different possible interventions, an appreciation of the likely risks and impacts of intervening, and a sensitivity to political and cultural contexts and realities.

At a workshop convened in London, at the Royal College of Physicians on 18th January 2018, Public Health practitioners, trainees, leaders, researchers, and policy-makers convened with scholars in public health ethics to discuss how Public Health Ethics and Law (PHEL) might be established as a professional competency, and how we might ensure that it is robust and rigorous through education and training. This is part of a project I am involved in with A.M. Viens at the University of Southampton, and Farhang Tahzib, Chair of the Faculty of Public Health (FPH)’s ethics committee and a champion for bringing academic public health ethics into practice.

We argue that the Public Health workforce needs a clearly defined PHEL competency, secured within Public Health education and ongoing professional training. This builds on further work that we have done regarding PHEL expertise to support the Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework. As contributions throughout the day affirmed, such a competency requires to be explained in a way that is academically robust: is it based on sound and coherent principles? It must be practically realisable: is it clear how to apply the PHEL competency in the vast, complex, and challenging range of practical situations covered by public health? And it must be treated properly as an essential part of public health capacity: how, for example, can we ensure it is taken seriously as part of CPD requirements? The feedback and engaged discussion from all participants were complemented and further stimulated by contributions from Bruce Jennings—described by Farhang as one of the fathers of Public Health Ethics—as well as an expert panel on which Bruce was joined by Angus Dawson, Vikki Entwistle, Kevin Fenton, and Fiona Sim.

Just as areas such as statistical analysis and detection of disease require skills and expertise, so do legal and ethical understanding and practice. As FPH President John Middleton suggested at the start of the day, we need to consider how questions of justice impact public health practice, and how our overall political agendas should be shaped if we are to achieve a sustainably fairer society. For good practice, and good frameworks for practice, PHEL experts need to work with the public health community to ensure that ethical challenges, big and small, can be addressed with proper knowledge, understanding, and skills in ethical, legal, and political reasoning.

We look forward to publishing a full report on our findings, detailing how the PHEL competency should be defined, and a range of model materials for PHEL education and training through the FPH’s website, as well as wider academic papers. It is an exciting time to be engaging with FPH and other partners to advance these agendas, strengthening capacity for ethics and law in public health.

John Coggon, Professor of Law and Honorary Member of the Faculty of Public Health, Centre for Health, Law, and Society, University of Bristol Law School