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[Perspectives] Lawrence Gostin: legal activist in the cause of global health

In the mid-1970s, and for a decade, Larry Gostin was an American in London. To anyone living in the UK with an interest in public affairs, Gostin’s name, voice, and words became familiar. First as the legal director of the mental health charity Mind and subsequently as the General Secretary of the UK’s National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), he was to be heard pronouncing on knotty issues from psychiatry to surveillance. When he returned to the USA in 1985, Gostin went from taking on the British establishment to taking on the world as he forged a stellar career at the interface between law and public health.