Enhancing Health Policy Development
A practical guide to understanding the legislative process
This publication is intended as a guide to ministries of health to enhance their understanding of their country’s legislative structure and process. Concise descriptions are provided of the difference between primary and secondary (or subordinate) legislation, as well as civil law systems and common law systems. It also defines and describes a number of legislative terms and legal concepts, such as ultra vires, legal precedents, international conventions, and the three stages in creating parliamentary legislation. This guide helps identify relevant materials and informative descriptions that should be collected and compiled that will provide a ministry of health with an essential legislative resource available for all concerned with the development and implementation of health policy. Compiling the information suggested in this guide will also ensure that countries obtain maximum benefit from specialized technical assistance that is provided to draft health legislation, and the guide is designed to ensure that it is not necessary for preliminary legislative work to be carried out by trained legal personnel.