Laws and policies have a strong effect on public health. The legal environment has three parts. 1. Statutes are official laws set by elected officials. All levels of government set statutes. 2. Court cases set legal precedent. Cases refine the meaning of existing laws and clarify ambiguities. All levels of the court system are part of this process. 3. Regulations are rules set by regulating bodies, such as the FDA or your local Board of Nursing. These three parts work together. They set parameters on what is considered "safe." They establish roles and responsibilities for different groups. They set health priorities. Advocacy groups and health professionals influence the groups that create the legal environment. Everyone helps carry out the laws and policies. The sources on this guide will help you find and follow public health law.