How our research drives health law reform

Law, Health and Society (LHS) examines the regulation of healthcare, the impact of health and human rights and how health law intersects with other areas such as medicine and technology. Our robust, collaborative research examines the ethical, social and legal implications of health law, regulation and policy, to advance better health and wellbeing outcomes.

Learn more about LHS

Our research areas

Our research investigates advancements in health technologies and the ethical, social and legal implications of law, regulation and policy throughout the life course.

Health regulation and related technology

Our research critically examines the regulation of healthcare and related technologies.

Health and human rights

We examine the human rights impact of laws, policies and practices, including those that relate specifically to healthcare and those that influence physical and mental health outcomes.

Intersections of health law

We evaluate and critique areas of health law that intersect with other disciplines, including medicine and social sciences, as well as other areas of law such as criminal law, tort law and constitutional law.

Make a positive impact

Study a PhD at Deakin Law School and contribute to research that informs law reform and public debate.

Study with us

It is important to apply a socio-legal perspective to critically examine how we create and sustain life and seek to improve both living and dying experiences for members of society.

Associate Professor Neera Bhatia

Director of Law, health and society

Featured projects

Our collaborative and diverse members conduct scholarly research and engage with the broader community, government, law reform bodies and other stakeholders at the intersection of law, health, and ethics to drive positive change in communities.

Children's medical tourism

Children's medical tourism

People travelling internationally to seek medical care for children is a growing phenomenon. We're working with researchers from Bristol University (UK) to build an international research network to better understand the global scale and extent of children's medical tourism, uncovering questions from different national jurisdictions.

Impacts of public intoxication reform

Impacts of public intoxication reform

Public intoxication was decriminalised in Victoria in 2023 after extensive engagement with Victoria’s Aboriginal community, which was disproportionately impacted by the law. Funded by Victoria’s Department of Justice and Community Safety, this project evaluates the transition from a criminal justice response to a public health response and investigates its effectiveness.

Our researchers

Law, Health and Society brings together expertise from researchers in health law to explore issues through a multi-jurisdictional lens and consider ethical and social contexts.

Associate Professor Neera Bhatia is the Director of Law, Health and Society, providing strategic direction. Her primary research interest focuses on end-of-life decision-making for critically ill infants and children, organ donation, voluntary assisted dying, definition and determination of death, and emerging health and reproductive technologies.

Associate Professor Tania Penovic is the Deputy Director of Law, Health and Society. Her primary research interest examines issues including barriers to healthcare access, the mental health impact of immigration law and the intersection of public health and criminal law, including the criminalisation of vulnerable groups.

Contact us

Please get in touch if you would like to know more about our work or discuss collaboration or research opportunities.