Portfolio of Public Health Law Bench Books
Interested representatives of the judiciary and public health officials have been collaborating on the development of public health law “bench books”. Bench books are commonly used by judges as functional practice guides designed to accelerate their understanding of an area of law. Courts in most states, for example, typically have civil and criminal law bench books. In Indiana, the public health law bench book devotes particular attention to legal authorities relating to public health emergencies. The Indiana bench book was the first bench book in the country devoted to public health law, and it is serving as a template for development of others, including the just-released Kentucky bench book. As states refine their approaches to bench book development, some are devoting a portion to a treatise-like discussion of public health law, intended for use by public health officials, state and local public health attorneys, and the public. A “practice supplement” or “application section” is then designed to provide useful, easily accessible law of practical and immediate use to judges, perhaps with cross-references to the broader treatment. These refined bench books will be made available at this site as they are finalized.