This paper presents a three-step process for developing legal interventions as well as observations and suggestions for how to think about legal innovation within the broader campaign for evidenced-based policy.

The authors describe the primary contemporary strategies researchers and research institutions use for inserting evidence into policy: 1) developing tools for credibly synthesizing evidence as it accumulates, and 2) adopting the individual and institutional practices (e.g., relationship building between researchers and policy-makers, funding for translation work, cooperative learning initiatives) that best promote the timely translation of research evidence into actionable, salient and available knowledge for policy actors.

They also discuss how to craft novel legal interventions for newly perceived problems by incorporating existing research knowledge using analytic tools and an understanding of the generic mechanisms through which law influences behavior and outcomes.

This paper was included in Tania Voon, Andrew Mitchell and Jonathan Liberman’s (Editors), Regulating Tobacco, Alcohol and Unhealthy Foods: The Legal Issues (Routledge, 2014). It is alternatively available via SSRN: