News

Who's Afraid of the Nanny State?


4 July 2014

Some of the conference presenters; l to r: Professor Gerard Hastings OBE (Professor of Social Marketing at Stirling University and the Open University, Scotland); A/Professor Stacy Carter (Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in Medicine, School of Public Health, the University of Sydney); Professor Janet Hoek (Professor of Marketing, Otago Business School, Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand); Professor Michael Moore (Chief Executive, Australian Public Health Association); Professor Rogan Kersh (Provost and Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Wake Forest University, North Carolina, United States); The Honourable Judi Moylan (President, Diabetes Australia; Co-Chair, National Diabetes Strategy Advisory Group); Professor Philip Pettit (Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University, and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University).
Some of the conference presenters; l to r: Professor Gerard Hastings OBE (Professor of Social Marketing at Stirling University and the Open University, Scotland); A/Professor Stacy Carter (Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in Medicine, School of Public Health, the University of Sydney); Professor Janet Hoek (Professor of Marketing, Otago Business School, Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand); Professor Michael Moore (Chief Executive, Australian Public Health Association); Professor Rogan Kersh (Provost and Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Wake Forest University, North Carolina, United States); The Honourable Judi Moylan (President, Diabetes Australia; Co-Chair, National Diabetes Strategy Advisory Group); Professor Philip Pettit (Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University, and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University).

Sydney Law School and the Charles Perkins Centre co-hosted an interdisciplinary conference entitled Who's Afraid of the Nanny State? Freedom, regulation, and the nation's health.

Fear of an emergent nanny state is a familiar theme in debate about what governments ought to do to protect the health of the community.

According to Roger Magnusson, Professor of Health Law and Governance, who co-hosted the conference with Professor Paul Griffiths, Associate Academic Director (Humanities and Social Sciences), Charles Perkins Centre, nanny-state rhetoric functions as a kind of "check mate" in public debate about public health policies, and sometimes it serves as a slogan against the very activity of government itself.

The conference paired University of Sydney researchers with leading scholars from Scotland, the United States, and New Zealand.

Themes of the conference ranged from marketing to political philosophy, and from law and public policy to politics.

A virtual conference website has been prepared which includes full video, photos of the speakers, spearkers' bibographies, speakers' slides and a written précis of each session of the conference.

The virtual conference website includes the public lecture by Professor Gerard Hastings OBE on 28 April, and a record of the following sessions on 29 April:
Session 1: When should government act to protect health?
Session 2: What should governments do (and not do) to protect public health?
Session 3: What makes government act?
Session 4: (Plenary): If I were nanny for a day….

Written versions of some of the papers presented at the conference are to be published in a symposium in Public Health, the Journal of the Royal Society for Public Health, UK.

Sydney Law School offers a Master of Health Law (MHL) that is available to law graduates, health professionals and other approved applicants.

The program is currently accepting applications for second semester 2014, and for 2015.

For further information, see http://sydney.edu.au/law/cstudent/coursework/healthlaw.shtml or contact Professor Cameron Stewart or Professor Roger Magnusson