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The University of Southampton
Institute of Criminal Justice Research

Legal moralism long game healthism - the regulation of smoking Event

16:00 - 18:00
12 March 2014
12 March 2014 - 4:00pm Building 54, Room 10037 (10th Floor)

For more information regarding this event, please email .

Event details

Dr John Coggon (Law, University of Southampton)

This paper is concerned with coercive policies and regulatory strategies that aim at a prohibitionist end whilst avoiding individual legal measures that would individually provide an outright ban on an activity. It compares jurisprudential debates regarding legal moralism, which concerns the use of law as a mechanism for enforcing moral norms, with debates in public health ethics about healthism, which refers to an ideological political agenda aimed at making people behave in ways that (apparently) promote their health. It then takes as its focus the ‘end game' agenda in tobacco policy; a strategy designed ultimately to mean that smoking will be eradicated. Against the background of ideas designed to legitimise such health policy-such as those entailed in ‘libertarian paternalism'-the paper examines whether long-game strategies avoid or are subject to concerns that apply to immediate prohibitions. In short, it explores the question: if on principled grounds we could not ban smoking overnight, (why) is it acceptable to do so over a decades-long period?

Speaker information

Dr John Coggon,John Coggon is Reader in Law at Southampton Law School. He has teaching and research interests in legal, moral, and political theory, especially as these relate to questions concerning human health and welfare. As well as contributing to the specialist teaching to health care law students in the Law School, he is from 2014-15, with Dr A.M. Viens, running a course in Public Health, Law, and Ethics on Southampton’s MSc in Public Health. Dr Coggon has co-edited several books, and authored and co-authored papers in many law, ethics, and practitioners’ journals, including the Cambridge Law Journal, the Journal of Medical Ethics, and the British Medical Journal. His leading work is the book What Makes Health Public? (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

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