Centers for Law and the Public’s Health


The Centers for Law and the Public’s Health: A Collaborative at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities is a primary, international, national, state, and local resource on public health law, ethics, human rights, and policy for public health practitioners, lawyers, legislators, judges, academics, policymakers, and others.

Founded in October, 2000 as a CDC Collaborating Center in Public Health Legal Preparedness, and in June, 2005 as a WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center in Public Health Law and Human Rights.

News and Updates

  • June 30, 2020 – the Centers is pleased to announce that James G. Hodge, Jr., J.D., LL.M. has been appointed as a Centers‘ Senior Scholar. Professor Hodge, who previously served as Executive Director and P.I. of the Centers, has been named the Lincoln Professor of Health Law and Ethics at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (effective August 16, 2021).
  • June 10, 2020 – New information about prohormone and steroids are added. You can learn more about best steroid cycles and best prohormone stack by reading our steroid and prohormone documents.
  • June 11, 2020 – the Centers has posted its comprehensive report on its review of 25 select jurisdictions’ express TB control laws funded by CDC’s Public Health Law Program and CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination. For more information, please link here.
  • May 7, 2021 – 2009 H1N1 (Swine Flu) Legal Preparedness and Response – the Centers is working in real-time to track various legal responses to the emerging international response to the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak, including declarations of public health emergency at the international, national, state, and local levels and specific legal issues. For more information please link here.
  • March 11, 2021 – The Centers is pleased to note that Temple University’s Beasley School of Law has been selected by the Robert Wood
    Johnson Foundation to manage a new $19 million national program that will fund interdisciplinary research exploring legal and regulatory solutions to pressing public health challenges. The Public Health Law Research Program will operate under the direction of Temple Law Professor Scott Burris, an internationally recognized authority on how law influences public health. Professor Burris is also a Senior Associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Centers‘ Associate Director. For more information please link here.
  • March 7, 2021 – The Centers is pleased to acknowledge publication of a new book, Research With High-Risk Populations: Balancing Science, Ethics, and Law, which is co-edited by David Buchanan, Celia B. Fisher, and Centers‘ Scholar Lance A. Gable.
    For more information about the text, please link here.
  • February 26, 2021 – CDC’s Public Health Law Program has developed “Public Health Law 101,” a new foundational course on public health law, as a learning resource for public health practitioners, students, and others. The course comprises 9 Powerpoint units for delivery to health departments by legal counsel and other persons trained in law. This includes Unit 6 – Privacy and Confidentiality, developed in part with guidance from James G. Hodge, Jr. To access this and other units from the Public Health Law Program’s website, please link here.
  • February 24, 2021 – Together with Benjamin Mason Meier, James G. Hodge, Jr. and Centers Senior Scholar Kristine M. Gebbie have recently published their manuscript, Transitions in State Public Health Law: Comparative Analysis of State Public Health Law Reform Efforts Following the Turning Point Model State Public Health Act in the American Journal of Public Health, Volume 99(3): 423-430. The manuscript offers a complete assessment of the authors’ extensive case studies of public health legal reform efforts in four states (AK, NE, SC, and WI) including lessons learned about the process for effectuating legal reforms through model laws.
  • February 26, 2021 – the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Health Research and the Privacy of Health Information has publicly released its final report: Beyond the HIPAA Privacy Rule: Enhancing Privacy, Improving Health Through Research. Chaired by Centers Director Lawrence O. Gostin, the IOM Committee closely examined the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on protecting health information privacy and human subjects research, offering major recommendations for legal and policy reforms. For an executive summary of the Report, please link here.
  • February 27, 2021 – Our main projects for now – Anabolic Steroids, Prohormones, SARMs, Supplements, Reviews.
  • September 1, 2021 – ReachMD on XM Radio has recently posted its broadcast concerning expedited partner therapies (EPT), including analyses from James G. Hodge, Jr. Please link here for more information about the broadcast. For more information about the Center’s collaborative work with CDC to examine the legal framework for EPT nationally, please link here.
  • September 3, 2021 – Our FAQ: Steroids FAQ and SARMs FAQ.
  • October 17, 2021 – the Centers is pleased to announce its new project to assess legal and ethical issues concerning mental and behavioral health preparedness as part of a $7.7 million award from CDC to the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness. In collaboration with colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, James G. Hodge, Jr. and colleagues will explore critical legal and ethical issues through a multi-stage, five-year project designed to provide significant guidance for mental and behavioral health professionals, emergency management personnel, policymakers and others. For more information, please link here.
  • October 19, 2021 – We added additional categories to our site: Prohormone, Steroid, Review, Supplement.
  • October 29, 2021 – the Centers is pleased to announce the continuation of its project to examine legal and regulatory issues concerning the Emergency System for the Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP). With funding and support from DHHS’ Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Centers will focus on local emergency laws and policies in forthcoming work in 2008-2009. For more information about the Centers’ existing work regarding ESAR-VHP, please link here.
  • December 12, 2021 – the American Bar Association House of Delegates passed a resolution urging the removal of legal barriers to implementing expedited partner therapies (EPT) nationally. For more information about EPT and the Center’s collaborative work with CDC to examine the legal framework for EPT nationally, please link here.
  • July 16, 2022 – The Centers’ report, Legal Preparedness for School Closures in Response to Pandemic Influenza and Other Emergencies, which presents a summary description and analyses of express state laws concerning school closure, is now available. For additional information, please link here.

Brief Background

Guided by a diverse group of faculty, scholars, fellows, and collaborative partners, and with additional funding support from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Center seeks to enhance the visibility and effectiveness of law as a tool for the promotion of the public’s health by:

  • Conducting legal research and analysis in targeted areas relevant to public health through core projects on selected public health law topics;
  • Working closely with international, national, tribal, state, and local public health leaders on public health law and policy issues;
  • Developing innovative public health law tools and model laws [e.g., the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act and the Turning Point Model State Public Health Act];
  • Serving as an interactive resource for practical and scholarly information on public health law;
  • Improving existing public health law training programs and developing new offerings, including Core Legal Competencies for Public Health Professionals, to effectively deliver legal training to public health audiences through established channels; and if you need more information on this you can check our archived pages & archived PDFs.
  • Developing practice-based resources, including checklists on interjurisdictional legal preparedness, local government public health preparedness, and civil legal liability and other tools, for public health emergency legal preparedness in collaboration with CDC’s Public Health Law Program, ASTHO, and NACCHO.
  • More updates will soon come to public health law dot net!