Human Rights / Civil Liberties

This section includes literature on rights, equality and discrimination generally. Literature on specific rights - for example housing, health, religion - is listed under the relevant topic headings (Property Law/ Housing; Health Law, and Religion and Law).

Abidin, Crystal and Jing Zeng, 'Feeling Asian Together: Coping With #COVIDRacism on Subtle Asian Traits' (2020) 6(3) Social Media + Society (online advance article, published 1 July 2020)
Abstract: Since the onset of COVID-19, incidents of racism and xenophobia have been occurring globally, especially toward people of East Asian appearance and descent. In response, this article investigates how an online Asian community has utilized social media to engage in cathartic expressions, mutual care, and discursive activism amid the rise of anti-Asian racism and xenophobia during COVID-19. Specifically, we focus on the 1.7-million-strong Facebook group 'Subtle Asian Traits' (SAT). Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the 1,200 new posts it publishes daily have swiftly pivoted to the everyday lived experiences of (diaspora) East Asians around the world. In this article, we reflect on our experiences as East Asian diaspora members on SAT and share our observations of meaning-making, identity-making, and community-making as East Asians collectively coping with COVID-19 aggression between January and May 2020.

Abrusci, Elena, Sam Dubberley and Lorna McGregor, 'An "Infodemic" in the Pandemic: Human Rights and Covid-19 Misinformation' in Carla Ferstman and Andrew Fagan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 287-296

Albader, Fatemah, 'Coronavirus and the Resurgence of Sinophobia' (2020) 12(2) Tsinghua China Law Review, 289-312
Abstract: With the outbreak of the coronavirus, the world has witnessed an increase in anti-Chinese sentiment, resulting from racially discriminatory policies undertaken by state governments to combat the spread of disease. States must nonetheless recall that the right to non-discrimination is a non-derogable right, one that is protected even in times of heightened anxiety. States must not impose restrictions that would contribute to the ongoing xenophobia, which is in blatant violation of human rights. Accordingly, this paper will explore and analyze the various government responses that have been undertaken in response to the coronavirus infection and will conclude with recommendations on how best to ensure compliance with the human rights framework during this time.

Allman, Kate, 'Hot Topic: A Line in the Sand: Why the Fight over Bondi Was about More than Beaches' (2020) 67 LSJ: Law Society of NSW Journal 24-26
Abstract: The COVID-19 "lockdown" period saw NSW place unprecedented restrictions on civil liberties. Amid widespread confusion over what citizens could and could not do in the temporary "new normal", tensions boiled over as communities clawed to maintain control over one much-loved Australian ritual: the right to go to the beach.

Amos, Merris, 'Human Rights Law and the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United Kingdom Part 1' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3576496, 15 April 2020)
Abstract: The purpose of this note is to provide some further detail to the human rights law issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. This is a rapidly moving situation and new human rights issues and challenges arise every day. In this note, the following issues are considered: derogation from the ECHR (and HRA); the overarching Article 2 right to life duty; medical treatment for COVID-19 patients; lockdown and deprivation of liberty.

Amos, Merris, 'Human Rights Law and the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United Kingdom Part 2' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3577779, 16 April 2020)
Abstract: The purpose of this note is to provide some further detail to the human rights law issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. The focus is on setting out the applicable legal rules and, where possible, suggesting how these might apply to current issues. Part 1 of this note concerned: derogation; the overarching duty to protect life; medical treatment of COVID-19 patients; and lockdown and the right to liberty. This note, Part 2 concerns: domestic violence; discrimination; self-imposed restrictions; closure of businesses; access to information; and surveillance and privacy issues arising from lifting lockdown.

Amos, Merris, 'Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic for the UK Human Rights Law Framework' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3688013, 31 July 2020)
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to lay bare the state's weaknesses and the gross inequalities in our society which have been allowed to flourish. It has also set in motion demands for a whole variety of 'rethinks' once the crisis is over. In that vein the purpose of this paper is to consider what lessons the pandemic might hold for the UK human rights law framework. The paper is in four parts. In the first part a short description of the UK's comparatively bad pandemic is set out, including the disproportionate negative impact for some groups. In the second part, the various acts and failures to act where human rights guarantees might have some influence are considered and in the third, the impact and potential impact of UK human rights law on these events. In the fourth and final part the lessons for human rights protection through law are set out.

Anand, Ishan and Anjana Thampi, 'Pandemic and the Crisis of Extreme Inequality in India' (JSGP Working Paper No 20-001, 15 October 2020)
Abstract: The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown created a public health and humanitarian crisis for millions of workers and families in India. Through extensive data analyses of multiple nationally representative sample surveys, we argue that the effects of the pandemic and the associated lockdown have been exacerbated by the pre-existing crisis of extreme inequalities in the country. Multiple dimensions of inequality are explored, such as the disparities in the labour market and in the access to basic amenities. We briefly indicate our most striking findings. 63 percent of the workers and 53 percent of the households in India earned less than Rs 10,000 per month in 2018-19. Substantial gaps in earnings by gender, caste and area of residence persist - on average, female earnings was 63 percent of male earnings, SC earnings was 55 percent of non-ST/SC/OBC earnings and rural earnings was only half of urban earnings in 2018-19. About 905 million people did not have access to piped water, 287 million did not have access to toilets, 127 million lived in rented accommodations, and one-fourth of the population lived in single-room dwellings in 2017-18. The implications of the long-term neglect of the public healthcare system and the disparities in the access to education are discussed. In addition to inequality measures of monetary measures such as household earnings, we construct a multi-dimensional inequality index that combines indicators in housing, water and sanitation. This gives insights on the extent of inequality in non-monetary dimensions. The evidence in this paper clearly identifies that extreme multi-dimensional disparities and disadvantages lie at the heart of the current crisis in India and highlights the need to put redistribution at the centre stage of the development agenda.

Antova, Ivanka, 'Disability Rights During COVID-19: Emergency Law and Guidelines in England' (2020) 28(4) Medical Law Review 804-816
Abstract: Disabled people may be disproportionately impacted by the response to the COVID-19 outbreak because of the kinds of countermeasures needed to tackle

Arakpogun, Emmanuel et al, 'Digital Contact-Tracing in a Pandemic... We Need One with a Blended Approach' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3639056, 30 June 2020)
Abstract: Governments across the world are rolling/planning to roll-out digital contact tracing (DCT) to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. However, deploying digital contact-tracing to curtail COVID-19 without recourse to existing structural inequalities, including digital divides, will lead to unintended consequences. Therefore, we propose that while the use of technology is welcomed, governments should bear in mind that exiting structural inequalities, including digital divides, could result in the exclusion of vulnerable people with a myriad of unintended consequences. Accordingly, governments must account for structural inequalities in the design and deployment of DCT to prevent more vulnerable people from falling through the cracks.

Arthanti, Berliana Dwi and Nabilla Dyah Eka Pramudhita, 'Law and Human Rights in Addressing Labor Problems during the Pandemic to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals' (2020) 4(2) Lex Scientia Law Review 39-54
Abstract: The labor sector, as an important element in Indonesia's economic growth, has also felt the impact of Covid-19. Rampant unemployment, layoffs, not being registered with the BPJS, violation of workers/labor rights during this pandemic have given negative signals for national economic growth. This is because of the increase in the number of unemployed will increase the poverty rate, reducing the national Gross Domestic Product. The Act Number 13 of 2003 concerning Manpower, which is actually the main milestone in the enforcement of human rights and democracy for manpower, has not been implemented optimally. The domino effect of Covid-19, which not only lowers the economy, also affects the government's achievements in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore, It requires synergy from all fields and real human rights enforcement to ensure the workforce, revive the economy, and achieve the SDGs targets. This normative juridical research uses secondary data through literature study and qualitative analysis. Here, the researcher will understand the importance of human rights enforcement to deal with problems in the labor sector to achieve the government's targets in the SDGs program.

Askary, Pouria and Farzad Fallah, 'The Right to International Solidarity and Humanitarian Assistance in the Era of Covid-19 Pandemic' (2020) 11(2) Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies 193-203
Abstract: From an international law point of view, the covid-19 pandemic could be described as a 'disaster' which has led to various calls especially from the UN system for harmonized international cooperation and global solidarity. This article focuses on the meaning of 'solidarity' in the context of international human rights, and elaborates on the implications of solidarity on the international law of humanitarian assistance in the current situation of the coronavirus outbreak.

Asudemade, Habeeb, 'Liberty and Pandemics: A Libertarian Approach to the Global COVID-19 Situation' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3630126, 18 June 2020)
Abstract: What better way to start a discourse on civil liberty than by alluding to George Orwell's 1984? In 1984, Orwell narrates the story of an omnipresent government called The Party and ruled by Big Brother. Big Brother controls every part of the people's lives with little or no grace for civil liberties. To consolidate unchecked powers, Big Brother invents a language called Newspeak and a regulation called Thought-crimes - both in a bid to completely eliminate any form of opposition - or even a thought of it - to the party's policies. And whosoever disobeys gets sent to the widely feared Room 101 for punishment. In a similar vein, our history with pandemics shows how governments can be quick to assume the post of a big brother, all in the name of national security. This was the case when the George Bush administration used the possible threat of a smallpox virus attack to justify its controversial massive smallpox vaccination program. It was the case during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pandemic when China tried to enforce a counterproductive quarantine program.

Auriemma, Catherine L et al, 'Eliminating Categorical Exclusion Criteria in Crisis Standards of Care Frameworks' (2020) 20(7) The American Journal of Bioethics 28-36
Abstract: During public health crises including the COVID-19 pandemic, resource scarcity and contagion risks may require health systems to shift--to some degree--from a usual clinical ethic, focused on the well-being of individual patients, to a public health ethic, focused on population health. Many triage policies exist that fall under the legal protections afforded by 'crisis standards of care,' but they have key differences. We critically appraise one of the most fundamental differences among policies, namely the use of criteria to categorically exclude certain patients from eligibility for otherwise standard medical services. We examine these categorical exclusion criteria from ethical, legal, disability, and implementation perspectives. Focusing our analysis on the most common type of exclusion criteria, which are disease-specific, we conclude that optimal policies for critical care resource allocation and the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should not use categorical exclusions. We argue that the avoidance of categorical exclusions is often practically feasible, consistent with public health norms, and mitigates discrimination against persons with disabilities.

Azizi, Abdulla, 'Derogation of Human Rights and Freedoms in RNM during the State of Emergency Caused by COVID-19' (2020) 15(1) SEEU Review 24-42
Abstract: Considering that in times of state of emergency or civil emergency (such as the pandemic caused by COVID 19), governments in many countries around the world have restricted human rights and freedoms through legally binding government decrees. These restrictive measures increasingly raise dilemmas about their effect and possible violations by the government of international norms guaranteeing human rights. The paper aims to analyze whether these restrictive measures set out in the decisions of the Government of the Republic of Northern Macedonia (RNM) are in compliance with the derogations allowed under the European Convention on Human Rights and Freedoms (ECHR) and the positive laws in power. In the framework of this paper is analyzed whether these measures have the sole purpose of protecting the health of citizens or not.</p><p>The work is limited in terms of time (as long as the state of emergency lasted three months) and territory (government decrees with the force of law).</p><p>Descriptive, historical, analytical, comparative and citizen survey methods are used in this paper. Government decrees have been analyzed in order to assess whether they were prudent, in accordance with international standards and consequences that they have caused to citizens.</p><p>The conclusions provide data on whether the management of the situation has been appropriate or not and to what extent it has been effective, as well as how much it has been within the international framework and how they have affected the quality of life of citizens.

Bachmann, Sascha Dov and Joachim Sanden, 'COVID-19 And The Duty of A State to Protect the Public's Health and Security During A Pandemic: A European Convention on Human Rights Perspective' (2020) 7(3) Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law 405-428
Abstract: This article discusses the consequences of the broader concept of health as a security concept under the applicable law of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of serious threats of to public health. Based on judgments by the European Court of Human Rights, a positive obligation of the Member States to act proactively towards health protection can be extracted from Article 5 (1) ECHR (liberty and security). The authors explore the scope of this provision in times of a public health emergency like a pandemic, a prolonged natural hazard or bio-terrorism to protect a citizen's health and life. This article has particular relevance before the present global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It argues in favour of a government's right and duty to keep its citizens safe from harm by providing an ECHR perspective on governmental duties to act in a proactive way when dealing with public health emergencies while at the same time balancing its human rights obligations

Bagenstos, Samuel R, 'Who Gets the Ventilator? Disability Discrimination in COVID-19 Medical-Rationing Protocols' (2020) 130 Yale Law Journal Forum 1-25
Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to take the threat of rationing life-saving treatments seriously. Many health systems employ protocols that explicitly deprioritize people for these treatments based on pre-existing disabilities. This argues that such protocols violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Affordable Care Act.

Bailey, Zinzi D and J Robin Moon, 'Racism and the Political Economy of COVID-19: Will We Continue to Resurrect the Past?' (2020) 45(6) Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 937-950
Abstract: COVID-19 is not spreading over a level playing field; structural racism is embedded within the fabric of American culture, infrastructure investments, and public policy, and fundamentally drives inequities. The same racism that has driven the systematic dismantling of the American social safety-net has also created the policy recipe for American structural vulnerability to the impacts of this and other pandemics. The Bronx provides an important case study for investigating the historical roots of structural inequities showcased by this pandemic; current lived experiences of Bronx residents are rooted in the racialized dismantling of New York City's public infrastructure and systematic disinvestment. The story of the Bronx is repeating itself, only this time with a novel virus. In order to address the root causes of inequities in cases and deaths due to COVID-19, we need to focus not just on restarting the economy, but on reimagining the economy, divesting of systems rooted in racism and the devaluation of Black and Brown lives.

Bald, Caroline and Sharon Walker, 'Covid-19 and Social Inequalities in Health in the UK' in Carla Ferstman and Andrew Fagan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 159-166
Abstract: Shortly before the UK was struck by the Covid-19 pandemic, research was published which showed that since 2010 'inequalities in life expectancy have widened and life expectancy fell in the most deprived communities'.1 Such inequalities in health are mainly caused by wider social inequalities. Evidence of the demographics of those who died as a result of the virus, served to highlight how these inequalities disproportionately led to the elderly and BME communities contracting Covid-19 and succumbing to it. This article will discuss how the health and wellbeing of socially disadvantaged people were negatively impacted. It argues that these inequalities are a breach of Article 2 of the Human Rights Act 1988 - the right to life, in that this right cannot be equally accessed by all. Finally, the article explores the current and future practice implications for social workers, who work daily with some of the most vulnerable people in society.

Barnes, Ashleigh and Emilie McDonnell, 'An Overview of Emerging International Human Rights Law Guidance: Promoting Human Rights Compatibility of Government COVID-19 Responses' (University of Oxford, Faculty of Law, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, Bonavero Report No 5/2020, 17 August 2020) 20
Extract from Introduction: There are now a number of international and regional human rights, rule of law and democracy organisations that have developed general guidance on how Covid-19 measures should be evaluated for their compliance with international human rights law. This report aims to collate and briefly summarise the emerging content of such guidance. Due to the proliferation of such guidance, this report is limited to the most significant pieces. It is organised thematically by reference to the following trends: accountability, emergencies and derogations, rights limitations (including privacy), socio-economic rights, discrimination, vulnerable persons, and enforcement powers and practice. This report thus provides a thematic overview of international human rights law guidance to legislatures, executives, courts and civil society in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Barreneche, Sebastian Moreno, 'Somebody to Blame: On the Construction of the Other in the Context of the Covid-19 Outbreak' (2020) 4(2) Society Register 19-32
Abstract: Besides the impact that COVID-19 has had in the sanitary, political and economic domains, it has also triggered multiple discursive processes, what opens up the field for an analysis from sociosemiotics, the social science interested in the study of 'meaning in action'. The aim of this article is to discuss from such a perspective how the current crisis linked to the COVID-19 virus has given place to the emergence of processes of narrative construction of an 'Other' to be blamed for the threat. While in some contexts the dominant narrative has been that COVID-19 is 'the Chinese' -and their unhealthy culinary habits- fault, in others the focus has been set on 'the irresponsible' that do not stay home when indicated to do so, as well as on 'the posh', given that they can afford travelling and hence can import the virus on their return. Departing from the premise which poses that cognition is articulated in narrative terms, the article argues how, in cases such as the current COVID-19 crisis, a discursive construction of collective actors by means of mechanisms of actorialization, generalization and axiologization is necessary for the dynamics of blame-attribution.

Bartlett, Robert P et al, 'Algorithmic Discrimination and Input Accountability under the Civil Rights Acts' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3674665, 1 August 2020)
Abstract: The disproportionate burden of COVID-19 among communities of color, together with a necessary renewed attention to racial inequalities, have lent new urgency to concerns that algorithmic decision-making can lead to unintentional discrimination against members of historically marginalized groups. These concerns are being expressed through Congressional subpoenas, regulatory investigations, and an increasing number of algorithmic accountability bills pending in both state legislatures and Congress. To date, however, prominent efforts to define algorithmic accountability have tended to focus on output-oriented policies that may facilitate illegitimate discrimination or involve fairness corrections unlikely to be legally valid. Worse still, other approaches focus merely on a model's predictive accuracy--an approach at odds with long-standing U.S. antidiscrimination law.We provide a workable definition of algorithmic accountability that is rooted in the caselaw addressing statistical discrimination in the context of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Using instruction from the burden-shifting framework, codified to implement Title VII, we formulate a simple statistical test to apply to the design and review of the inputs used in any algorithmic decision-making processes. Application of the test, which we label the input accountability test, constitutes a legally viable, deployable tool that can prevent an algorithmic model from systematically penalizing members of protected groups who are otherwise qualified in a legitimate target characteristic of interest.

Bartos, Vojtech et al, 'Covid-19 Crisis Fuels Hostility Against Foreigners' (Working Paper of the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance No 2020-03, 14 May 2020)
Abstract: Intergroup conflicts represent one of the most pressing problems facing human society. Sudden spikes in aggressive behavior, including pogroms, often take place during periods of economic hardship or health pandemics, but little is known about the underlying mechanism behind such change in behavior. Many scholars attribute it to scapegoating, a psychological need to redirect anger and to blame an out-group for hardship and problems beyond one's own control. However, causal evidence of whether hardship triggers out-group hostility has been lacking. Here we test this idea in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, focusing on the common concern that it may foster nationalistic sentiments and racism. Using a controlled money-burning task, we elicited hostile behavior among a nationally representative sample (n = 2,186) in a Central European country, at a time when the entire population was under lockdown and border closure. We find that exogenously elevating salience of thoughts related to Covid-19 pandemic magnifies hostility and discrimination against foreigners, especially from Asia. This behavioral response is large in magnitude and holds across various demographic sub-groups. For policy, the results underscore the importance of not inflaming racist sentiments and suggest that efforts to recover international trade and cooperation will need to address both social and economic damage.

Bates, Elizabeth Stubbins, 'Article 2 ECHR's Positive Obligations: How Can Human Rights Law Inform the Protection of Health Care Personnel and Vulnerable Patients in the COVID-19 Pandemic?' in Barrie Sander and Jason Rudall (eds), Opinio Juris Symposium on COVID-19 and International Law (2020)
Introduction: This post analyses the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on states' positive operational obligations to protect life under Article 2 of the ECHR, and offers concrete arguments for the protection of health care personnel and vulnerable patients through this human rights lens.

Bellazzi, Francesca and Konrad v Boyneburgk, 'COVID-19 Calls for Virtue Ethics' (2020) 7(1) Journal of Law and the Biosciences Article lsaa056
Abstract: The global spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has led to the imposition of severely restrictive measures by governments in the Western hemisphere. We feel a contrast between these measures and our freedom. This contrast, we argue, is a false perception. It only appears to us because we look at the issue through our contemporary moral philosophy of utilitarianism and an understanding of freedom as absence of constraints. Both these views can be substituted with more sophisticated alternatives, namely an ethics of virtue and a notion of freedom of the will. These offer a fuller picture of morality and enable us to cooperate with the current restrictions by consciously choosing to adhere to them instead of perceiving them as draconian and immoral. We ask whether we should collaborate with the restrictions and argue that considerations of virtue will lead to an affirmative answer. More broadly, virtue ethics permits to deal with the practical concerns about how an individual should behave during this pandemic, given the current lockdown measures or lack thereof.
In section 1, we present how utilitarianism and a notion of freedom as negative liberty support the opposition to restrictive measures. In section 2, we outline an alternative based on an ethics of virtue and a more elaborated notion of free will. In the concluding section 3, we argue that considerations of virtue should guide the individual and public response to the emergency.

Benfer, Emily A et al, 'Health Justice Strategies to Combat the Pandemic: Eliminating Discrimination, Poverty, and Health Inequity During and After COVID-19' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3636975, 1 June 2020)
Abstract: Past infectious disease epidemics in the United States and governmental responses to them made it highly predictable that people living in poverty, people of color, and people with disabilities would bear the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic due to discrimination that limits equal access to resources, such as health care, housing, and employment. The COVID-19 pandemic magnified and accelerated the impact of longstanding discrimination and health inequity among historically marginalized groups and low-income populations. Black and Latinx populations have a higher COVID-19 contraction and mortality rate, higher rates of unemployment, less access to health care, and are at higher risk of eviction during the pandemic, among other significant inequities. Without robust and swift government interventions, the impacts of the pandemic will be wide and deep. This article analyzes mechanisms of discrimination and barriers to health in the pandemic setting using the health justice framework to address discrimination and poverty. The health justice framework offers four overarching principles to prevent and eliminate health disparities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. First, legal and policy responses must address the impacts of discrimination and poverty on the social determinants of health, which in turn threaten to exacerbate the health, financial, and social impacts of a public health emergency on low-income communities, communities of color, and other marginalized communities. Second, interventions mandating healthy behaviors--such as staying at home from work when sick, mask wearing, and minimizing close contacts outside the home--must be accompanied by legal protections, accommodations, and social supports to enable those behaviors while minimizing economic, social, and cultural harms. Third, because emergencies typically exacerbate long-standing and interconnected crises in low-income communities and communities of color, legal and policy responses must address root problems in addition to immediate needs. Fourth, historically marginalized communities must be engaged as leaders in the development of any interventions and the attainment of health justice. To demonstrate the application of the health justice framework and principles, this article focuses upon three pillars that support resilience and equip marginalized communities to withstand the immediate and long-term impacts of the pandemic: health care, housing, and employment. This article explains how health care discrimination is a social determinant of health, how lack of access to health care operated as a barrier to health justice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and applies the health justice framework to address health inequity. Then this article explains how housing and eviction are social determinants of health, how housing discrimination is a barrier to health justice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggests way to achieve health justice in housing. Finally, this article discusses how poverty and employment inequity are social determinants of health, how structural discrimination is an accelerator of employment inequity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggests how health justice principles can help achieve equity in employment. Ultimately, the framework can be adopted across numerous social determinants of health and structures to ensure the elimination of discrimination, poverty, and poor health among marginalized people during and after the pandemic.

Bennett Moses, Lyria et al, 'COVIDSafe App - Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3595109, 7 May 2020)
Abstract: This submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights sets out how the Australian government's scheme around the COVIDSafe app can better align with the human right to privacy. We recognise the app pursues a legitimate objective and that the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) (Emergency Requirements--Public Health Contact Information) Determination 2020 (Cth) and exposure draft of Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020 provide important protections. Nevertheless, we make a series of recommendations that would improve the transparency of the scheme and better protect the privacy of those downloading and using the app.

Bertocchi, Graziella and Arcangelo Dimico, 'Covid-19, Race, and Redlining' (IZA Discussion Paper No 13467, 14 July 2020)
Abstract: Discussion on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans has been at center stage since the outbreak of the epidemic in the United States. To present day, however, lack of race-disaggregated individual data has prevented a rigorous assessment of the extent of this phenomenon and the reasons why blacks may be particularly vulnerable to the disease. Using individual and georeferenced death data collected daily by the Cook County Medical Examiner, we provide first evidence that race does affect COVID-19 outcomes. The data confirm that in Cook County blacks are overrepresented in terms of COVID-19 related deaths since - as of June 16, 2020 - they constitute 35 percent of the dead, so that they are dying at a rate 1.3 times higher than their population share. Furthermore, by combining the spatial distribution of mortality with the 1930s redlining maps for the Chicago area, we obtain a block group level panel dataset of weekly deaths over the period January 1, 2020-June 16, 2020, over which we establish that, after the outbreak of the epidemic, historically lower-graded neighborhoods display a sharper increase in mortality, driven by blacks, while no pre-treatment differences are detected. Thus, we uncover a persistence influence of the racial segregation induced by the discriminatory lending practices of the 1930s, by way of a diminished resilience of the black population to the shock represented by the COVID-19 outbreak. A heterogeneity analysis reveals that the main channels of transmission are socioeconomic status and household composition, whose influence is magnified in combination with a higher black share.

Billauer, Barbara Pfeffer, 'Ageism and CoVid 19: First They Lock the Oldsters Up, Then They Refuse The Ventilators. What's Next?' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3647209, 9 July 2020)
Abstract: Most commentators claim that age is a determinant of deaths from Co-Vid 19. This paper suggests flaws in this analysis. While co-morbidities associated with age may be contributory, there is no data showing that oldsters are more vulnerable to death from CoVid 19 than they are for dying generally. In fact, it appears that the aged population is less likely to die from CoVid than from Influenza and that the healthy oldster may be able to survive CoVid better than the healthy youngster. I further claim that CoVid policies targeting the elderly have unnecessarily contributed to their deaths. Thus rationing policies depriving the elderly of respirators and imposing restrictive lockdowns themselves contributed to the very assumptions on which these policy decisions were based.

Billauer, Barbara Pfeffer, 'On the Proposal Not to Vaccinate the Aged for COVID-19' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3694407, 17 September 2020)
Abstract: Public Health Practice champions the objective of saving lives when allocating scarce resources. Bioethical precepts advocate equal respect for individuals. Anti-discrimination laws forbid making decisions on the basis of class or stereotypes. What happens when academics propose vaccine- allocation plans (in an article in The Conversation) which trespass on all three- promising that their plain will stop the epidemic? Insidious schemes which seem to promise nirvana while violating human and civil rights need to be examined very carefully. In this case, a careful examination discloses the proposed plan is inherently flawed, not just from a legal and ethical perspective, but from a public health perspective as well.

Bolsover, Gillian, 'Balancing Freedoms, Rights and Responsibilities during COVID in US: A Study of Anti- and Pro-Restriction Discourse' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3678626, 4 August 2020)
Abstract: Countries across the world have instituted unprecedented restrictions on freedom of movement, privacy and individual rights to control the spread of COVID-19. These measures tend to have been derived from communally orientated East Asian cultures. The way that culturally relevant concepts of rights and freedoms underpin COVID restrictions in democratic and individually orientated countries remains unknown. This data memo addresses this issue through analysis of pro- and anti-restriction discourse on social media in the US. It finds that anti-social and economic restriction discourse more frequently articulates rights and freedoms, based on ideas of inviolable rights to freedom of movement or freedom of economic activity or a cost-benefit analysis that places economic activity over public health. Pro-social and economic restriction discourse less frequently mentions rights and freedoms, instead supporting restrictions as following state and medical advice and out of deference and respect to medical professionals. Discourse is highly polarised and divisive and articulated largely through established political identity positions. It is suggested that more attention is paid to discussions of balancing rights and freedoms in COVID control restrictions. To convince opposers of restrictions, supporters of restrictions should base arguments around communal rights and positive freedoms. It is also important to critically evaluate whether and how these perspectives need to be adapted to be appropriate and resonant in democratic and individualistic countries.

Bonacini, Luca, Giovanni Gallo and Sergio Scicchitano, 'All That Glitters Is Not Gold. Effects of Working from Home on Income Inequality at the Time of COVID-19' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3597996, 8 May 2020)
Abstract: The recent global COVID-19 pandemic forced most of governments in developed countries to introduce severe measures limiting people mobility freedom in order to contain the infection spread. Consequently, working from home (WFH) procedures became of great importance for a large part of employees, since they represent the only option to both continue working and keep staying home. Based on influence function regression methods, our paper explores the role of WFH attitude across labour income distribution in Italy. Results show that increasing WFH attitudes of occupations would lead to a rise of wage inequality among Italian employees. The opportunity of WFH tends to benefit male, older and high-paid employees, as well as those living in provinces more affected by the novel coronavirus.

Bonvicini, Barbara et al, 'Legal Scenarios in the Coronavirus Time: Medico Legal Implications in the Aspects of Governance' (2021) 48 Legal Medicine Article 101832
Abstract: Along with rising levels of the infection around the world, the state of emergency prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has also been having a heavy legal impact. The situation is posing important criminal challenges, as well as an ocean of social and public health issues around the world. It has not only directly affected constitutionally-guaranteed rights and individual freedoms, but also brought to the fore certain types of criminal offence that had previously been of little practical importance, such as the crime of 'maliciously or unintentionally causing an epidemic'. Different countries and states have introduced policies to manage the emergency at different times and in different ways. The measures adopted have been the object of much criticism, also raising questions of constitutional legitimacy in countries like Italy. The present contribution begins with a brief outline of the different international scenarios. Then we examine some of the medicolegal aspects of criminal offences previously envisaged and newly introduced since the arrival of the pandemic. We suggest the need for a sort of 'code of public health laws for the time of coronavirus', that could also be applied to other public health emergencies, pandemic or otherwise. The idea is to give operators in the sector and the general population the opportunity to identify clear and simple rules to follow in the current complex global situation. We need a new, appropriate interpretation of the 'boundaries' of our individual rights in relation to the need to safeguard the wider community and its more vulnerable members.

Bowleg, Lisa, 'We're Not All in This Together: On COVID-19, Intersectionality, and Structural Inequality' (2020) 110(7) American Journal of Public Health 917
Extract: Newspaper headlines swiftly affirmed the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in Black and Navajo communities and issued ominous warnings about the pandemic's future in poor White rural communities. My irritation with the ubiquitous phrase 'We're all in this together' quickly ensued. Although seemingly innocuous and often well intentioned, the phrase reflects an intersectional color and class blinding that functions to obscure the structural inequities that befall Black and other marginalized groups, who bear the harshest and most disproportionate brunt of anything negative or calamitous: HIV/AIDS, hypertension, poverty, diabetes, climate change disasters, unemployment, mass incarceration, and, now, COVID-19.

Brown, Elizabeth, 'Supercharged Sexism: The Triple Threat of Workplace Monitoring for Women' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3680861, 1 August 2020)
Abstract: As biometric monitoring becomes increasingly common in workplace wellness programs, there are three reasons to believe that women will suffer disproportionately from the data collection associated with it. First, many forms of biometric monitoring are subject to gender bias, among other potential biases, because of assumptions inherent in the design and algorithms interpreting the collected data. Second, the expansion of femtech in particular creates a gender-imbalanced data source that may feed into existing workplace biases against women unless more effective safeguards emerge. Finally, many femtech platforms encourage the kind of information sharing that may reduce women's reasonable expectations of privacy, especially with regard to fertility data, thus increasing the risk of health data privacy invasion. This triple threat to female workers may be offset somewhat by the benefits of health data collection at work and may be remedied at least in part by both legislative and non-legislative means. The current trend toward greater health data collection in the wake of COVID-19 should provoke a reexamination of how employers collect and analyze women's health data in order to reduce the impact of these new gender bias drivers.

Brown, Italo M et al, 'COVID-19 Disparities and the Black Community: A Health Equity-Informed Rapid Response Is Needed' (2020) 110(9) American Journal of Public Health 1350-1351

Bueno De Mesquita, Judith, 'Covid-19: An Inconvenient Truth? Re-Evaluating Progress and Confronting Challenges for the Right to Health' in Carla Ferstman and Andrew Fagan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights : Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 85-92

Burris, Scott et al, 'The Legal Response to COVID-19: Legal Pathways to a More Effective and Equitable Response' (2021) 27(January/February) Journal of Public Health Management and Practice S72-S79
Abstract: COVID-19 is the new disease this country had been preparing to take on for decades. So far, the response has been a failure, with huge human and economic costs. While peer countries have managed to get the pandemic under a degree of control, the United States seems pathologically unable or unwilling to prevent rising cases and deaths. This is not a failure of resources: although decades of cutting health agency budgets is a big part of our problem, we remain a country rich in money and expertise. This is not a failure of individual courage; from health care workers through transport workers to people who produce and deliver food supplies, essential workers have shown up and done their jobs at significant personal risk. This has been, first and foremost, a failure of leadership and the development or implementation of an effective response.

Burstrom, Bo and Wenjing Tao, 'Social Determinants of Health and Inequalities in COVID-19' (2020) 30(4) European Journal of Public Health 617-618
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting populations worldwide. Although everyone is susceptible to the virus, there are numerous accounts of the pandemic having a greater impact on lower socioeconomic groups and minorities.1,2 Also, in Stockholm, Sweden, the infection rate is 3-4 times higher in some socioeconomically disadvantaged residential areas compared to the regional average. Scientific studies of inequalities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are lacking at present, but it is reasonable to assume that disparities in social determinants of health have contributed to these early observations and result in differential exposure to the virus, differential vulnerability to the infection and differential consequences of the disease.

Campbell, Meghan, Sandra Fredman and Aaron Reeves, 'Palliation or Protection: How Should the Right to Equality Inform the Government's Response to Covid-19?' (2020) 20(4) International Journal of Discrimination and the Law 183-202
Abstract: This article examines what role equality law can play in addressing the inequalities created and exacerbated by the British government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We argue that while there is great potential in existing legislation, there is a need for both policy-makers and courts to apply a more searching and nuanced understanding of the right to equality if this potential is to be realised. We begin by examining how the burdens of confronting this pandemic as a society fall more heavily on those already at the bottom end of the scale of inequality. We then ask whether and to what extent the current legal structures protecting the right to equality can be mobilised to redress such inequalities, paying particular attention to the Public Sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act 2010 and on the Human Rights Act 1998. Finally, we argue that, to fulfil the requirements of both these legal duties, the courts should subject policies and practices to close scrutiny under the four-dimensional approach. When making and operationalising policies around Covid-19, substantive equality requires account to be taken simultaneously of the four dimensions of inequality to the greatest extent possible.

Carrera, Sergio and Ngo Chun Luk, 'Love Thy Neighbour? Coronavirus Politics and Their Impact on EU Freedoms and Rule of Law in the Schengen Area' (CEPS Paper in Liberty and Security in Europe No 2020-04, April 2020)
Abstract: Restrictions on international and intra-EU traffic of persons have been at the heart of the political responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Border controls and suspensions of entry and exist have been presented as key policy priorities to prevent the spread of the virus in the EU. These measures pose however fundamental questions as to the raison d'etre of the Union, and the foundations of the Single Market, the Schengen system and European citizenship. They are also profoundly intrusive regarding the fundamental rights of individuals and in many cases derogate domestic and EU rule of law checks and balances over executive decisions. This Paper examines the legality of cross-border mobility restrictions introduced in the name of COVID-19. It provides an in-depth typology and comprehensive assessment of measures including the reintroduction of internal border controls, restrictions of specific international traffic modes and intra-EU and international 'travel bans'. Many of these have been adopted in combination with declarations of a 'state of emergency'.

Carter, Laura, 'Imperfect Models of the World: Gender Stereotypes and Assumptions in Covid-19 Responses' in Carla Ferstman and Andrew Fagan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 187-196
Abstract: As the Covid-19 pandemic has unfolded, epidemiologists have been working to build and refine models of how the disease is spread through populations: at the same time, policy-makers around the world have been taking measures to try to stem the transmission of disease, which are based on models of how they think the world works. These models may be implicit, or made explicit including through the use of statistics and data science: frequently, though, they are based on stereotypes and assumptions about how individuals and systems operate. This paper argues that it is crucial to understand to whom models are useful, and who they ignore. This paper looks at the gendered assumptions - and resulting gaps - in policy responses, which betray an understanding of the world that neglects the experiences of women and of trans and non-binary people. It examines how gendered assumptions, gender binaries and stereotypes weaken responses to the pandemic, and how they reinforce imperfect models of the world that have detrimental impacts on the people who are not included.

Casla, Koldo, 'Rights and Responsibilities: Protecting and Fulfilling Economic and Social Rights in Times of Public Health Emergency' in Carla Ferstman and Andrew Fagan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 11-17
Abstract: This chapter introduces human rights and civic responsibilities as mutually reinforcing ideas in times of public health emergency. Based on rights and responsibilities, and taking the human rights principle of non-retrogression as a starting point, it is necessary to define positive obligations to protect and fulfil economic and social rights when responding to a serious public health crisis. Among other things, I argue that societies should be able to use privately owned resources and facilities, as it is sometimes not only legitimate but necessary to interfere with private property.

Castelyn, C de V et al, 'Resource Allocation during COVID-19: A Focus on Vulnerable Populations' (2020) 13(2) South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 83-86
Abstract: South Africa (SA) is a country of contrasts, with abundant resources, hard-won civil rights and a diverse population. Woven into the fabric of our society is a large divide between its poorest and its wealthiest members. In this article we highlight the vulnerabilities in our society that have been amplified by the COVID-19 crisis. Based on recent projections, it is very likely that the healthcare system will be overwhelmed. We acknowledge the recognition by government and civil society of these vulnerabilities, and note that difficult decisions will need to be made with regard to resource allocation. Our plea, however, is to ensure that human dignity and the principle of distributive justice are maintained, and that when difficult decisions are made, vulnerable people do not suffer disproportionately. Furthermore, it is of great concern that there is no national directive guiding resource allocation, prioritisation and triage decisions in both public and private hospitals. The Health Professions Council of SA should, as a matter of urgency, issue guidance on priority-setting and triage decisions in the context of COVID-19, based on distributive justice principles.

Chai Yun Liew, Jamie, 'Preventing the Spread of Anti-Asian Racism: Including Critical Race Analysis in a Pandemic Plan' in Colleen M Flood et al (eds), Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19 (University of Ottawa Press, 2020) 393
Abstract: The racist discourse and attacks on Asian Canadians in the COVID-19 outbreak has illustrated the differentiated risks, vulnerability, and marginalization of racialized persons. A race-based analysis is essential in public health policy. First, public health responses may reinforce long-standing racist narratives of how a virus is transmitted. Second, the 'viralizing' of persons may lead to unfair blame on a racialized community for an outbreak, taking focus away from structural problems in particular environments, as for example in the case of Filipino migrant workers in meat-packing plants who have no control over their working conditions. Finally, there is now data showing that, accounting for other factors, some racialized groups of people, including Black and South Asian people, may be succumbing to COVID-19 more than others. Focusing on the partial border closure as a case study, this chapter looks at how historical and contemporary selective but simultaneous inclusion and exclusion at the border has constructed social ideas of foreigners. The border measures reflect an ongoing tension to admit cheap labour for essential services while pacifying public fear of the Asian person as a vector of the virus. Critical race analysis should be employed when evaluating public health responses to ensure that differential experiences of racialized communities are considered during a pandemic.

Charles, Chris and Sarah Moulds, 'The Right to Protest for Racial Equality during a State of Emergency: Fundamental Freedom or Sacrificial Lamb?' (2020) 42(10) Bulletin (Law Society of South Australia) 8-10
Abstract: As 2020 creeps to an end, it is distressing to think of the millions of families grieving for loved ones lost too early. It is not just the pandemic that has fuelled this avalanche of grief and loss, but also the tragedy of hundreds of black deaths in custody around the world and here at home. The words ' 'I can't breathe, please! Let me up, please! I can't breathe! I can't breathe! resonate beyond national borders, precisely because they have not just been uttered on the streets of New York. These are the words of a 26-year-old Dunghutti man who died in a prison in south-eastern Sydney in 2016 after being restrained by five officers, the same year an Aboriginal man died in South Australia after being pulled unresponsive from a prison van at Yatala Labour prison. These words bring shame on all Australians, particularly those of us with the resources and capacity to raise our voice or take to the streets to affect change.

Cheibub, Jose Antonio, Ji Yeon Jean Hong and Adam Przeworski, 'Rights and Deaths: Government Reactions to the Pandemic' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3645410, 7 July 2020)
Abstract: Democracies reacted slower than autocracies to the specter of the pandemic, and the most solidly democratic among them were particularly slow to react. We examine at which stages of the spread of the COVID governments introduced four measures that to varying degree abrogate liberal rights: school closings, bans on public meetings, compulsory lockdowns, and shutting work. We conclude that where rights are entrenched, encroaching on them is difficult. Yet we are struck that when the threat of death became sufficiently severe, many democracies resorted to the same measures as autocracies. Still, the reactions of democracies were highly heterogenous and we are unable to account for this heterogeneity.

Chen, Bo and Donna Marie McNamara, 'Disability Discrimination, Medical Rationing and COVID-19' (2020) 12 Asian Bioethics Review 511-518
Abstract: The current public health crisis has exposed deep cracks in social equality and justice for marginalised and vulnerable communities around the world. The reported rise in the number of 'do not resuscitate' orders being imposed on people with disabilities has caused particular concerns from a human rights perspective. While the evidence of this is contested, this article will consider the human rights implications at stake and the dangers associated with using 'quality of life' measures as determinant of care in medical decision-making and triage assessments.

Chen, Justin A, Emily Zhang and Cindy H Liu, 'Potential Impact of COVID-19-Related Racial Discrimination on the Health of Asian Americans' (2020) 110(11) American Journal of Public Health 1624-1627
Abstract: Anti-Asian discrimination and assaults have increased significantly during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, contributing to a 'secondary contagion' of racism. The United States has a long and well-documented history of both interpersonal and structural anti-Asian discrimination, and the current pandemic reinforces longstanding negative stereotypes of this rapidly growing minority group as the 'Yellow Peril.' We provide a general overview of the history of anti-Asian discrimination in the United States, review theoretical and empirical associations between discrimination and health, and describe the associated public health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, citing relevant evidence from previous disasters in US history that became racialized. Although the literature suggests that COVID-19 will likely have significant negative effects on the health of Asian Americans and other vulnerable groups, there are reasons for optimism as well. These include the emergence of mechanisms for reporting and tracking incidents of racial bias, increased awareness of racism's insidious harms and subsequent civic and political engagement by the Asian American community, and further research into resilience-promoting factors that can reduce the negative health effects of racism.

Chen, YY Brandon, 'Migrant Health in a Time of Pandemic: Fallacies of Us-Versus-Them' in Colleen M Flood et al (eds), Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19 (University of Ottawa Press, 2020) 407
Abstract: International migrants--including, among others, immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, foreign workers, and international students-- are at greater risk of being affected by COVID-19. However, following the onset of the pandemic, many of them continue to be denied publicly funded health care and income supports in Canada. For migrants who are granted entitlement to these government programs, significant access barriers exist. These exclusionary policies underscore a dynamic of us-versus-them, in which migrants are portrayed as a threat to public health and undeserving of the Canadian society's help. This process of 'othering' fails to adequately appreciate migrants' belonging in and contributions to Canada. It runs counter to the principles of equality and reciprocity that are central to our legal order, and it also risks compromising our collective pursuit of public health. An effective response to the current pandemic requires solidarity among all members of society instead of insistent line drawing between citizens and migrants who are similarly situated.

Cheong, Mark Wing Loong, Pascale Allotey and Daniel D Reidpath, 'Unequal Access to Vaccines Will Exacerbate Other Inequalities' (2020) 32(6-7) Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health 379-380
Abstract: There is a consensus that a vaccine, and the immunity that it confers, is required for countries to lift their restrictions and restart their economies. This has led to countries competing for supplies of potential COVID-19 vaccines. A corresponding surge of activism has occurred to ensure that vaccines will be equitably distributed. Equal access to a vaccine will be needed to prevent the development of health disparities between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Unfair access to vaccines will also create inequalities in rights and freedom. There are numerous reports of communities who are perceived to be at higher risk of being infected, being targets of discrimination, and having their rights curtailed. It requires no stretch of the imagination to see how unequal access to a vaccine will result in the rise of a 2-caste system: the clean, who are immune and noncontagious, and the untouchables, who are nonimmune and a feared source of infection.

Chia, T and OI Oyeniran, 'Human Health versus Human Rights: An Emerging Ethical Dilemma Arising from Coronavirus Disease Pandemic' (2020) 14(July-September) Ethics, Medicine and Public Health 100511
Abstract: Introduction: The world is contending to contain the outbreak of coronavirus which has now resulted to36,571 mortalities out of the 754,948 confirmed cases in 202 countries, areas or territories as at March 31, 2020. Pandemics are usually characterized by a sense of panic and uncertainties. Even though global preparedness and emergency procedures have been enacted, the uncertainties surrounding this pandemic raise considerable questions to their adherence. Widespread restrictions of varying degrees have been placed on individuals, groups, communities, cities or even whole regions. These restrictions ab initio are in contradiction to civil and human rights. These measures, which are now widely implemented in many regions and countries of the globe, have thrown up fresh ethical questions. Between human health and human rights, which takes primacy?

Chiangi, Michael Aondona, Igwela P Franca and Peres Agari, 'State Responsibility in the Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic: International Health Law and Human Rights Obligations of China' (2020) 9(2) Port Harcourt Law Journal 162
Abstract: This article examines the law of state responsibility and its application to the events that have transpired in the wake of COVID-19. China's delay in reporting the outbreak to the WHO and the discriminatory safety measures employed against blacks in China has raised legal questions affecting state responsibility. Some Scholars have advocated that China should be sued at the International Court of Justice for breaching her obligation under the International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR). This paper argues that this would be futile because there is no causal nexus between the alleged breach of China's obligation and the spread of COVID-19. Also, China has not expressed consent to the jurisdiction of the ICJ which is required in contentious cases. Again, this paper argues, that the allegations of racial discrimination against China would also be difficult to redress. First, these allegations implicate both Chinese citizens and government officials. Secondly, redress would be before judicial/administrative forums in China, and the independence of such arrangements is questionable. The paper further argues that unlike in Africa, Europe and America, if an applicant is dissatisfied with the domestic remedy, there is no corresponding regional human right arrangement in Asia to which he may resort.

Chilton, Adam S et al, 'Support for Restricting Liberty for Safety: Evidence During the COVID-19 Pandemic from the United States, Japan, and Israel' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3591270, 2 May 2020)
Abstract: Democratic governments around the world have taken dramatic steps to halt the spread of COVID-19. These steps have prevented new infections and deaths, but they have also entailed unprecedented restrictions on civil liberties. Navigating this tradeoff between security and liberty is particularly difficult for democracies because they need to maintain public support for their policies and are constrained by their constitutions. We administered surveys to nationally representative samples in three economically advanced democracies--the United States, Japan, and Israel--to assess the extent to which the public supports liberty restrictions designed to combat COVID-19. We found consistent and widespread support for policies restricting civil liberties across all three countries. We also experimentally manipulated information about (1) the constitutionality of these policies and (2) the infections they would prevent, finding evidence that respondents' support for restrictions on civil liberties may depend more on their effectiveness than their legality.

Chohan, Usman W, 'After the Coronavirus Vaccine's Discovery: Concerns Regarding a COVID-19 Vaccination's Distribution' (CASS Working Papers on Economics and National Affairs No EC021UC, 2020)
Abstract: The fervent global quest for the development of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) begs the frightening questions: who will go first in receiving it? and will everyone get to receive it at all? This working paper seeks to highlight the risk that mercantilist market-logic approaches to hoard or overprice a future vaccine poses for human lives, and how it might reproduce global inequalities in a fatal manner. It draws upon the literature on socioeconomic disparities in vaccination to argue that the infrastructure for international dissemination of the vaccine must be built in advance and in a manner that forsakes the hostile mercantilism that has accompanied a shifting and combative international order.

Chowdhury, Barnali, 'Gender Injustice and the Pandemic' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3623145, 9 June 2020)
Abstract: In this twenty first century, women continue to be reckoned as the most oppressed class; and at times are even denied the basic human rights. When women have fewer resources, less power and less influence compared to the male counterparts, they are made to experience inequality and there is discrimination based on class, ethnicity, age, as well as religious and other fundamentalism. Gender inequality, also happens to be the key driver of poverty and a fundamental denial of women's right. Even in this 21st century, it goes without saying that, a near universal phenomenon is gender-based violence, which threatens the well-being, rights and dignity of women. An instance of such gender based violence is Domestic Violence- which forms the subject matter of this paper. Viewed from the perspective of human rights violation, with the application of human rights law, the State's obligation to respect individual rights of each and every person gets reinforced, so much so that, the wrong doer can be held accountable for abuse of those rights of private individuals. Therefore, even if the State does not actually commit the abuse, it has the obligation to guarantee legal protection to the women victims. In attempting to discuss about one form of household abuse, which is seen to be aggravating more during this COVID-19 Pandemic, and the Lockdown that is operating in India, since March 24th, 2020, in this paper, discussion will centre round the principle of Equality which the framers of the Indian Constitution has also recognized as a Fundamental Right as well as a Directive Principle of State Policy, and which right has been secured to all citizens by the Preamble to the Indian Constitution. Despite every safeguard being provided by law, the Indian woman has been made to swim through troubled waters, which in itself is a matter of grave concern.

Christiani, Leah et al, 'Masks and Racial Stereotypes in a Pandemic: The Case for Surgical Masks' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3636540, 29 June 2020)
Abstract: To contain the spread of COVID-19, experts emphasize the importance of wearing masks. Unfortunately, this practice may put blacks at elevated risk for being seen as potential threats by some Americans. In this study, we evaluate whether and how different types of masks affect perceptions of threat for a black male model and a white male model. We find that non-black respondents perceive a black model as more threatening when he is wearing a bandana or a homemade cloth mask relative to wearing no mask at all. However, they do not perceive him as more threatening when he is wearing a surgical mask. As expected, these effects are especially pronounced in non-black respondents who score high in racial resentment, a common social scientific measure of racial bias. Further, it is not that high racial resentment non-black respondents find bandana and cloth masks more threatening in general. Our results suggest that they do not view a white male model as more threatening when he is wearing these types of masks. Though mandated mask wearing is an ostensibly race-neutral policy, our findings demonstrate the potential implications are far from race-neutral.

Christou, Theodora A, Maria Pia Sacco and Anurag Bana, 'Digital Contact Tracing for the COVID-19 Epidemic: A Business and Human Rights Perspective' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3618958, 4 June 2020)
Abstract: This report looks at COVID-19 pandemic responses, focusing on the contact tracing apps from a business and human rights perspective. It sets out the human rights criteria when either interfering with the private life of individuals under the ordinary limitations of the right, and also when states choose to derogate having declared a state of emergency. The key tests remain the same: legality, necessity, and proportionality.

Churches, Genna and Monika Zalnieriute, 'The Instrumentality of Metadata Access Regime For Suppressing Political Protests In Australia' (UNSW Law Research Paper No 20-50, 2020)
Abstract: Australians, just like many other people around the world, are taking to the streets to oppose racial and environmental injustice, despite the COVID-19 risk of mass gatherings. Australian politicians have expressed strong disdain, and even threats, at protesters. Government's desire to silence critics is not new, however today's tracking technologies and Australia's lax federal metadata laws give the government unprecedented tools to take action against protesters. Accessing metadata requires no warrant or reporting and enables government to draw links and amass schemes of connections between people who were organising, attending, intending or speaking at the protests. These tools, coupled with new COVID-19 powers to surveil citizens, have seriously impaired the right to protest anonymously in Australia. In this post we are not disputing the need for restrictions on mass gatherings or social distancing -- to the opposite, we think they are crucial to stop the spread of virus. Instead, we are exposing the instrumentality of metadata, including location data, for the government to clamp down on peaceful protests. We propose one small step towards securing the right t protest anonymously during a time when Australians need it most: reforming the laws so that our metadata can only be accessed with a judicial warrant and further protected with detailed public reporting requirements.

Clibborn, Stephen and Chris F Wright, 'COVID-19 and the Policy-Induced Vulnerabilities of Temporary Migrant Workers in Australia' [2020] (85) Journal of Australian Political Economy 62-70
Abstract: The COVID-19 crisis has starkly exposed the existing economic vulnerability of temporary migrants in many countries. In Australia, many temporary migrants, who were already at risk of marginalisation due to policies restricting their bargaining power and agency (Wright and Clibborn 2020), have lost their jobs and have minimal financial support due to their exclusion from public welfare.

Cohen, I Glenn, Lawrence O Gostin and Daniel J Weitzner, 'Digital Smartphone Tracking for COVID-19: Public Health and Civil Liberties in Tension' (2020) 323(23) Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) 2371-2372
Abstract: This Viewpoint compares manual and digital strategies for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) contact tracing, describes how countries in Asia and Europe have used smartphone tracking, and discusses privacy and discrimination concerns and strategies for balancing public health and civil liberties in the

Comande, Giovanni, Denise Amram and Gianclaudio Malgieri, 'The Democracy of Emergency at the Time of the Coronavirus: The Virtues of Privacy' [2020] Opinio Juris in Comparatione (pre-print)
Abstract: The emergency of the Coronavirus imposes a cultural debate on the balancing of rights, freedoms and social responsibilities, finalized to the protection of individual and collective health. So much and rightly has been written in these days about strategic errors of the past, and authoritarian and social control risks exploiting the fear of contagion to further compress individual freedoms. A lot has been said about the futility of privacy as well.But is there a democratic way that respects fundamental rights in an emergency? Is there a model that can turn respect for democratic freedoms into a tool for effective common struggle in an emergency?

Conklin, Michael, 'Racial Preferences in COVID-19 Vaccination: Legal and Practical Implications' (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3765168, 1 January 2021)
Abstract:The severity of COVID-19 and the limited supply of vaccines poses a pressing question: Who should receive priority for the vaccine? Many experts support the controversial plan to prioritize black and Hispanic people. For justification they point to the highly disparate health outcomes minorities experience from COVID-19 that are rooted in historical racial injustice. However, such racial classifications implicate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.This Article analyzes the potential outcome of such an equal protection challenge. It explains why strict scrutiny would be the controlling legal standard even though the issue has never been adjudicated by the Supreme Court in a health care context. Next, it considers how the existence of alternative vaccine distribution policies violate the narrowly tailored requirement. It considers the analogous case law of affirmative action in college admissions, in which the use of racial preferences is well established. And it considers alternative vaccine distribution plans that do not utilize racial preferences and how even they are susceptible to legal challenges.This Article further addresses pragmatic implications that would tangentially affect the legal determinations. These implications include potential counterproductive results of racial preferences, such as increased skepticism among the most vulnerable that they are being used as guinea pigs, a stigmatizing effect that could be used by white supremacist groups to promote a perceived martyrdom status, and the dangerous conflation of disparate health outcomes with genetic superiority and inferiority. These issues are considered against the backdrop of a changing Supreme Court, which has shown a willingness to diverge from established precedent regarding racial preferences.

Danchin, Peter et al, 'The Pandemic Paradox in International Law' (ANU College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No 20.18, 2020) < https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=3676036 >

Abstract: This article examines a series of paradoxes that have rendered the international legal order's mechanisms for collective action powerless precisely when they are most needed to fight COVID-19. The 'patriotism paradox' is that disengagement from the international legal order weakens rather than strengthens state sovereignty. The 'border paradox' is that securing domestic populations by excluding non-citizens, in the absence of accompanying regulatory mechanisms to secure adherence to internal health measures, accelerates viral spread among citizens. The 'equality paradox' is that while pandemics pose an equal threat to all people, their impacts compound existing inequalities.

Dastyari, Azadeh and Catherine Renshaw, 'Frontline Workers as Human Rights Defenders: Protecting the Human Rights of Frontline Workers in Australia during the COVID-19 Pandemic' [2020] (6) UNSW Law Journal Forum 1-12 <http://www.unswlawjournal.unsw.edu.au/forum_article/frontline-workers-as-human-rights-defenders-protecting-the-human-rights-of-frontline-workers-in-australia-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/> Abstract: During the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as state and territory governments in Australia attempted to curb the spread of the coronavirus, attention was focused on a group that came, globally, to be known as 'frontline workers', which included health workers. In this article, we interrogate the construction of health workers as 'frontline workers' during the COVID-19 pandemic. We argue that this framing supported the narrative that the dangers to which health workers were exposed, which included threats to their lives and wellbeing, was an unfortunate but inevitable part of the war against the common enemy (COVID-19). The effect was to divert attention from what should have been the primary focus: ensuring that health workers had the equipment and conditions to carry out their jobs safely and effectively. We argue that an alternative and more appropriate understanding of the role of health workers during a pandemic - and the COVID-19 pandemic in particular - is that health workers are human rights defenders.

Deslatte, Aaron, Megan E Hatch and Eric Stokan, 'How Can Local Governments Address Pandemic Inequities?' (2020) 80(5) Public Administration Review 827-831

Jurisdiction: USA
Abstract: COVID-19 is exposing a nexus between communities disproportionately suffering from underlying health conditions, policy-reinforced disparities, and susceptibility to the disease. As the virus spreads, policy responses will need to shift from focusing on surveillance and mitigation to recovery and prevention. Local governments, with their histories of mutual aid and familiarity with local communities, are capable of meeting these challenges. However, funding must flow in a flexible enough fashion for local governments to tailor their efforts to preserve vital services and rebuild local economies. The authors argue that the Community Development Block Grant and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant programs are mechanisms for providing funds in a manner that is adaptable to local context while also focusing on increasing social equity. Administrators must emphasize the fourth pillar of public administration--social equity--in framing government responses to the pandemic.

Dineen, Kelly K and Elizabeth Pendo, 'Substance Use Disorder, Discrimination, and The CARES Act: Using Disability Law to Strengthen New Protections' [2021] (Spring) _Arizona State Law Journal Online_
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is having devastating consequences for people with substance use disorders (SUD). SUD is a chronic health condition--like people with other chronic health conditions, people with SUD experience periods of remission and periods of exacerbation and relapse. Unlike people with most other chronic conditions, people with SUD who experience a relapse may face criminal charges and incarceration. They are chronically disadvantaged by pervasive social stigma, discrimination, and structural inequities. People with SUD are also at higher risk for both contracting the SARS-CoV-19 virus and experiencing poorer outcomes. Meanwhile, there are early indications that pandemic conditions have led to new and increased drug use, and overdose deaths are surging. More than ever, people with SUDs need access to evidence-based treatment and other services without structural barriers and with civil rights protections. To that end, a new provision in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities Act (CARES Act) strengthens penalties for the wrongful disclosure of SUD treatment records as well as addresses discrimination in multiple settings based on the misuse of those records. People with SUD reasonably fear negative treatment and discrimination if their condition is exposed. To address this barrier, federal law strictly protects the confidentiality of SUD treatment records. These protections have existed for nearly 50 years; however, the stringent requirements have been blamed for hampered and even deadly treatment decisions by health care providers who do not have access to SUD treatment records. Section 3221 of the CARES Act, effective March 2021, enacts the first major statutory changes to SUD treatment record confidentiality since 1992 and is aimed at improving information sharing among SUD treatment providers and other health care providers. But increased information sharing also creates concerns about information misuse and discrimination, and the possibility of renewed treatment avoidance. To address the tension between the benefits of information sharing and the possible harms of discrimination after disclosure, Section 3221 strengthens the disclosure penalties to align with HIPAA. It also adds an entirely new nondiscrimination provision which prohibits discriminatory use by recipients of disclosed SUD treatment information in areas including health care, employment and receipt of worker's compensation, rental or sale of housing, access to courts, and social services and benefits funded by federal, state, or local governments. This essay provides the first analysis of the new nondiscrimination protections in Section 3221 of CARES Act for individuals with SUD using the framework of existing protections against disability-based discrimination in the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Fair Housing Act. We propose that as the new protections of Section 3221 are implemented through regulations, guidance, and enforcement, they should be understood within the context of existing disability nondiscrimination laws as well as the specific purpose of Section 3221 to ensure that discrimination against such people does not continue to serve as a barrier to seeking treatment. We offer three insights to achieve this goal. First, the new protections should be understood to include current illegal substance users and should be construed broadly. Second, the scope of entities covered by the new protections should be interpreted consistently with existing definitions in laws that prohibit disability-based discrimination in employment, public programs, services, and activities, health care, and housing. Finally, robust enforcement must be coupled with educational initiatives about the pervasive discrimination faced by people with SUDs, and new and existing nondiscrimination requirements that protect them.

Duman, Anil, 'Wage Losses and Inequality in Developing Countries: Labor Market and Distributional Consequences of COVID-19 Lockdowns in Turkey' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3645468, 7 July 2020)
Abstract: We develop a possibility to work index (PWI) taking the ability to work from home and workplace closures into account. By using the data from the HLFS in Turkey, we examine the individual level determinants of PWI. Our findings reveal that PWI and ability to work from home are significantly different, and essential or closed jobs are not necessarily concentrated at the bottom of the wage distribution. Therefore, from a policy perspective, PWI can be a more encompassing measure of risk and can assist the public authorities to design better targeted social policies. Our results also point out that wage inequality is likely to deteriorate as a result of the supply shocks from confinement policies. However, the overall negative distributional effects of lockdown and disparity between employees in different economic activities become more substantial with duration. These suggest that in order to avoid major increases in earning inequalities and related social problems, governments would be better off with shorter and stricter lockdowns.

Dye, Alaina, 'The Right to Health in Immigration Detention during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Examination of Federal and International Law' (University of San Diego, Centre for Health Law and Bioethics, CHLB Research Scholarship No 74, 2020)
Abstract: This article examines the United States' response to the severe impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in immigration detention centers and considers the United States' obligations to the vulnerable population of immigrant detainees. This article argues that the COVID-19 pandemic further demonstrates the United States' lack of guaranteed health care for immigrant detainees and deportees despite international recognition of the human rights to health and life. The United States violates international law when immigrant detainees' human rights are disregarded by lack of appropriate access to health care during a global pandemic. This article recognizes that discrimination against immigrants under the Trump Administration and inconsistent treatment of detained populations further the vulnerability of immigrant detainees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, this article urges for reform in the United States immigration detention system, in regard to health care, to protect immigrant detainees and deportees during the harsh times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dzehtsiarou, K, 'Article 15 Derogations: Are They Really Necessary during the COVID-19 Pandemic?' [2020] (4) European Human Rights Law Review 359-371
Abstract: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a few human rights academics argued that human rights can be better protected if the governments derogate from international human rights mechanisms during the pandemic. In doing so, these governments clearly separate the regime of emergency from normalcy and hence they limit in time the measures they adopt to fight the pandemic. Article 15 allows such derogations from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In this short contribution I question the fundamentals of this argument. First, the quarantining effect of derogations is often proven by references to military emergencies. I argue that health emergencies are substantively different from the military ones and it is incorrect to draw direct parallels between them. Secondly, I argue that human rights enshrined in the ECHR have a 'natural quarantining effect' and Article 15 derogations are unable to change the Court's approach to human rights during the pandemic significantly.

El-Mohandes, Ayman et al, 'COVID-19: A Barometer for Social Justice in New York City' [2020] American Journal of Public Health e1-e3 ( advance article, published 10 September 2020)
Abstract: A recent study by researchers at Harvard University found that mortality ratios for Black and Latinx communities in the United States were 3.6 and 2.6 times higher, respectively, than the mortality ratio for non-Hispanic Whites,1 a stark gap also reported in New York City (NYC).2 During the COVID-19 pandemic, in NYC other similar patterns were found. Mortality rates for the Latinx and Black populations are 242 per 100 000 and 226 per 100 000, respectively, both more than twice those for White and Asian American residents.3 Surveys conducted by the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy and others tell an even more alarming story. The gaps in mortality rates are just the tip of an iceberg of long-standing public health-related inequities among people of color in the United States. These discrepancies threaten all US citizens--wealthy and poor alike--and they have been exacerbated by the coronavirus. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print September 10, 2020: e1-e3. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2020.305939)

Erasmus, N, 'Age Discrimination in Critical Care Triage in South Africa: The Law and the Allocation of Scarce Health Resources in the COVID-19 Pandemic' (2020) 110(12) South African Medical Journal 1172-1175
Abstract: No one may be refused emergency medical treatment in South Africa (SA). Yet score-based categorical exclusions used in critical care triage guidelines disproportionately discriminate against older adults, the cognitively and physically impaired, and the disabled. Adults over the age of 60, who make up 9.1% of the SA population, are most likely to present with disabilities and comorbidities at triage. Score-based models, drawn from international precedents, deny these patients admission to an ICU when resources are constrained, such as during influenza and COVID-19 outbreaks. The Critical Care Society of Southern Africa and the South African Medical Association adopted the Clinical Frailty Scale, which progressively withholds admission to ICUs based on age, frailty and comorbidities in a manner that potentially contravenes constitutional and equality prohibitions against unfair discrimination. The legal implications for healthcare providers are extensive, ranging from personal liability to hate speech and crimes against humanity. COVID-19 guidelines and score-based triage protocols must be revised urgently to eliminate unlawful discrimination against legally protected categories of patients in SA, including the disabled and the elderly. That will ensure legal certainty for health practitioners, and secure the full protections of the law to which the health-vulnerable and those of advanced age are constitutionally entitled.

Erdianti, Ratri Novita and Nur Putri Hidayah, 'Study at Home during the Covid-19 Pandemic as a Legal Protection for Children's Rights in Indonesia' (2020) 28(2) Legality : Jurnal Ilmiah Hukum 245-258
Abstract: The application of the online learning system during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused problems related to learning methods that require adequate facilities that not all students have. In addition, the community also feels that this method is not optimal for students, especially elementary school students who find it difficult to accept online learning which also due to heaps of works to replace the material students can use. The purpose of this paper is to see that the study at the home policy is the right government action to take in accordance with the legal protection mandated by Law No. 35 of 2014 concerning Amendments to Law No. 23 of 2002 concerning Child Protection to continue on carrying out the learning process so that the world of education is not paralyzed due to the spread of COVID-19. The purpose of this study is to examine the study at the home policy as a guarantee of legal protection mandated by Law No. 35 of 2014 concerning Amendments to Law No. 23 of 2002 concerning Child Protection. The method used in this study is the normative method. The outcomes show that online learning policies are the best solution and are in line with the principles of legal protection for children's rights in Indonesia, especially regarding the right to be safe from harm, to be kept away from disease, and the right to live and develop.

Estrada, Ruiz and Mario Arturo, 'Can COVID-19 Shows Income Inequality?' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3638160, 29 June 2020)
Abstract: This paper attempts to investigate the existence of a correlation between COVID-19 and income inequality. This research paper's primary objective is to prove that the fast expansion of COVID-19 cases can be related to the income inequality levels in any country. However, this paper is not looking at economic growth. We focus on how people benefit from this economic growth through the income (re)distribution among different social groups in the same country. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the top countries with more COVID-19 infected cases, such as the U.S., Brazil, Russia, India, United Kingdom, Peru, Chile, Spain, Italy, and Iran. According to our preliminary results from the ten countries in mention, we can observe the sad reality of income inequality worldwide. Therefore, the COVID-19 can be an alternative parameter to evaluate the income inequality. Finally, this the paper tries to present policies and recommendations to solve income inequality from a holistic approach.

Estrada, Ruiz and Mario Arturo, 'Is Poverty the Best Allied of COVID-19 in Developing Countries? The Case of Guatemala' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3645045, 7 July 2020)
Abstract: This paper tries to expose how poverty can be a crucial issue in the faster expansion of COVID-19 in developing countries like Guatemala. This research paper's primary objective is to prove that the rapid development of COVID-19 infected cases is directly involved in the massive poverty levels in developing countries. However, this paper also looks at the dramatic reduction of the middle class and the expansion of poverty. This research focuses on how developing, and least developed countries are extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), how developing countries such as Guatemala got exponential COVID-19 contagious cases growth rates of 300% daily. According to our preliminary results in the case of Guatemala, we can observe that poverty originated from enormous inflation, massive unemployment, deep-rooted discrimination-by race and economic-, income inequality-the largest in Latin America-, a large informal economy-urban and rural-, and a vast corruption-myopic governments with personal agendas-. Finally, this paper tries to present policies (Ruiz Estrada, 2011) and (Ruiz Estrada and Park, 2018) to the Guatemalan government, the private sector, and civil society from a holistic approach to Guatemala conditions and characteristics.

Evans, Kylie and Nicholas Petrie, 'COVID-19 and the Australian Human Rights Acts' (2020) 45(3) Alternative Law Journal 175-179
Abstract: This article considers how the response to COVID-19 in Australia may be examined and challenged by the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT), the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006 (Vic) and the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) (collectively, the Australian HRAs). It also considers the unique model of rights protection provided at the Commonwealth level under the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 (Cth) (2011 Act). The authors argue the Australian HRAs and the 2011 Act have the potential to play a key role in scrutinising some laws implementing the COVID-19 measures, and action taken under those laws.

'Eviction of Travellers and the Significance of the Pandemic' [2020] (September) Housing Law Monitor 8-12
Abstract: Considers Chichester DC v Sullivan (HC) on whether evicting a large group of travellers from a site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where there were no other authorised sites available, was a proportionate and necessary interference with the travellers' rights under ECHR art.8 and Protocol 1 art.1. Notes the court's consideration of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the analysis of proportionality.

Fagan, Andrew, 'The Politics of Identity in the UK: Before, During and After Covid-19' in Carla Ferstman and Andrew Fagan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 149-157
Extract from Introduction: After several months of the spread of Covid-19 throughout the developed world, we now know that the fate of Boris Johnson revealed little about peoples' vulnerability to the virus. In stark contrast to the claim that the virus did not discriminate, it became quickly apparent that the likelihood of becoming infected is far higher amongst some socio-economic, racial and ethnic groups than others. Identity is an aetiological factor in the spread of the virus. This is not because of the differing physiological or DNA composition of those who have disproportionately been infected by the virus. Biology is not destiny. Rather, those most likely to become infected and thus to die from the virus are also many of the poorest and most socially marginalised within our societies. In addition to its biomedical properties, Covid-19 must also be understood as a profoundly social and political pathogen, that sheds an unrelenting light on the social and political pathologies of affluent, notionally democratic societies such as the United Kingdom.

Fairchild, Amy, Lawrence Gostin and Ronald Bayer, 'Vexing, Veiled, and Inequitable: Social Distancing and the "Rights" Divide in the Age of COVID-19' (2020) 20(7) The American Journal of Bioethics 55-61
Abstract: Although unprecedented in scope and beyond all our life experiences, sweeping social distancing measures are not without historical precedent. Historically, racism, stigma, and discrimination resulted in grossly inequitable application of disease containment measures. But history also provides examples in which broad measures enjoyed remarkable public support. When it comes to COVID-19, blame and division continue to shape containment responses. But the COVID-19 pandemic also resonates with moments in which there was broad social support for containment precisely because lockdowns or stay at home orders are, on the surface, remarkably equitable. Yet even in a context in which a majority of Americans support social distancing, small but coordinated conservative groups are challenging social distancing as a matter of individual rights. In sharp contrast, vulnerable populations, who bear the heaviest burden of disease, have claimed a right to social distancing as a matter of protection.

Farha, Leilani and Kaitlin Schwan, 'The Front Line Defence: Housing and Human Rights in the Time of COVID-19'' in Colleen M Flood et al (eds), Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19 (University of Ottawa Press, 2020) 355
Abstract: COVID-19 has laid bare the failure of Canadian governments to effectively implement the right to housing. In this chapter, we argue the pandemic presents Canada with the opportunity to correct the structural weaknesses of our housing system to ensure housing for all and reposition housing as a social good rather than a commodity. We explore how housing status has been determinative of outcomes for three vulnerable populations during the pandemic--people experiencing homelessness, survivors of intimate partner violence, and low-income renters. Their experiences demonstrate the urgent need for a rights-based approach to housing, highlighting the importance of breathing life into the National Housing Strategy and the National Housing Strategy Act. We argue that Canadian governments must act before this opportunity passes them by; otherwise they will find that though the pandemic itself is over, housing inequality has only worsened.

Farre, Lidia et al, 'How the Covid-19 Lockdown Affected Gender Inequality in Paid and Unpaid Work in Spain' (IZA Discussion Paper No 13434, 7 July 2020)
Abstract: The covid-19 pandemic led many countries to close schools and declare lockdowns during the Spring of 2020, with important impacts on the labor market. We document the effects of the covid-19 lockdown in Spain, which was hit early and hard by the pandemic and suffered one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe. We collected rich household survey data in early May of 2020. We document large employment losses during the lockdown, especially in "quarantined" sectors and non-essential sectors that do not allow for remote work. Employment losses were mostly temporary, and hit lower-educated workers particularly hard.Women were slightly more likely to lose their job than men, and those who remained employed were more likely to work from home. The lockdown led to a large increase in childcare and housework, given the closing of schools and the inability to outsource. We find that men increased their participation in housework and childcare slightly, but most of the burden fell on women, who were already doing most of the housework before the lockdown. Overall, we find that the covid-19 crisis appears to have increased gender inequalities in both paid and unpaid work in the short-term.

Fellows, Jamie and Mark David Chong, 'Australia's Modern Slavery Act: Challenges for a Post-COVID World?' (2020) 45(3) Alternative Law Journal 209-214
Abstract: When the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) struck in early 2020, the Commonwealth government eased reporting deadlines and extended the date for firms required to submit modern slavery statements under Australia's Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth). The economic recession caused by COVID-19 has produced the necessary conditions for further exploitation and enslavement of vulnerable individuals. This article asserts that, even without COVID-19, the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) in its current form will do little to address forms of modern slavery such as sexual exploitation, forced marriage, trafficking and domestic servitude. This is because the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) primarily targets labour exploitation and requires suppliers to voluntarily disclose their involvement with modern slavery.

Fins, Joseph J, 'Resuscitating Patient Rights during the Pandemic: COVID-19 and the Risk of Resurgent Paternalism' [2020] Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics advance article, published 24 June 2020) 1-7
Abstract: By late March 2020, New York was in crisis mode. Our Emergency Department - like its counterparts across the City - was bulging at its seams. We were overwhelmed by the COVID-19 surge. Patients were arriving in respiratory failure at the cusp of needing to be resuscitated and the sheer volume of critically-ill patients appearing at the same time was as if there had been a major plane crash at LaGuardia Airport. The only difference was that this was a sustained disaster with a steady flow of dying patients arriving at the hospital. And this was a stress test for medical ethics, for distributive justice and the allocation of scarce resources. Simply put, there were more patients to be resuscitated than available personnel, much less equipment.

Flood, Colleen M, Bryan Thomas and Kumanan Wilson, 'Civil Liberties vs. Public Health' in Colleen M Flood et al (eds), Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19 (University of Ottawa Press, 2020) 249
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the challenges governments face in balancing civil liberties against the exigencies of public health, amid the chaos of a public health emergency. A key question concerns the evidentiary standards for justifying interferences with civil liberties. Superficially, civil liberties law and public health appear to invoke opposite evidentiary standards: under the principle of proportionality, civil libertarians demand strong evidence of the necessity of interference with civil liberties, while public health officials, invoking the precautionary principle, urge that intrusive measures be taken--limits on social gatherings, for example--even without conclusive evidence of their necessity. In this chapter, we argue that the two principles are not so oppositional in practice. In testing for proportionality, courts recognize the need to defer to governments on complex policy matters, especially where the interests of vulnerable populations are at stake. For their part, public health experts have incorporated ideas of proportionality in their evolving understanding of the precautionary principle. We emphasize the importance of agility in the COVID-19 response, pointing to strategies that might simultaneously satisfy the proportionality and precautionary principles.

Freckelton, Ian, 'COVID-19: Criminal Law, Public Assemblies and Human Rights Litigation' (2020) 27(4) Journal of Law and Medicine 790-806
Abstract: Australia's criminal law was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic from the outset and then progressively as statutory measures and judicial rulings on matters such as bail entitlements, judge-alone trials, sentences and applications for demonstrations and public assemblies were made by courts. This column identifies some of the major decisions made during the period of the lockdown measures between March and July 2020, and reviews significant New South Wales judgments in relation to the lawfulness of mass gatherings during the period of lockdown as expert assessments of risks of community transmission of the virus waxed and waned. It explores the importation into Australia's criminal law of public health principles for the protection of the community, and its compatibility with traditional principles of criminal justice.

Frees, Edward W and Fei Huang, 'The Discriminating (Pricing) Actuary' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3592475, 4 May 2020)
Abstract: The insurance industry is built on risk classification, grouping insureds into homogeneous classes. Through actions such as underwriting, pricing and so forth, it differentiates, or discriminates, among insureds. Actuaries have responsibility for pricing insurance risk transfers and are intimately involved in other aspects of company actions and so have a keen interest in whether or not discrimination is appropriate from both company and societal viewpoints. This paper reviews social and economic principles that can be used to assess the appropriateness of insurance discrimination. Discrimination issues vary by the line of insurance business and by the country and legal jurisdiction. This paper examines social and economic principles from the vantage of a specific line of business and jurisdiction; these vantage points provide insights into principles. To sharpen understanding of the social and economic principles, this paper also describes discrimination considerations for prohibitions based on diagnosis of COVID-19, the pandemic that swept the globe in 2020. Insurance discrimination issues have been an important topic for the insurance industry for decades and is evolving in part due to insurers' extensive use of Big Data, that is, the increasing capacity and computational abilities of computers, availability of new and innovative sources of data, and advanced algorithms that can detect patterns in insurance activities that were previously unknown. On the one hand, the fundamental issues of insurance discrimination have not changed with Big Data; one can think of credit-based insurance scoring and price optimization as simply forerunners of this movement. On the other hand, issues regarding privacy and use of algorithmic proxies take on increased importance as insurers' extensive use of data and computational abilities evolve.

Friedman, Eric A et al, 'Global Health in the Age of COVID-19: Responsive Health Systems Through a Right to Health Fund' (2020) 22(1) Health and Human Rights Journal 199-207
Abstract: We propose that a Right to Health Capacity Fund (R2HCF) be created as a central institution of a reimagined global health architecture developed in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such a fund would help ensure the strong health systems required to prevent disease outbreaks from becoming devastating global pandemics, while ensuring genuinely universal health coverage that would encompass even the most marginalized populations. The R2HCF 's mission would be to promote inclusive participation, equality, and accountability for advancing the right to health. The fund would focus its resources on civil society organizations, supporting their advocacy and strengthening mechanisms for accountability and participation. We propose an initial annual target of US$500 million for the fund, adjusted based on needs assessments. Such a financing level would be both achievable and transformative, given the limited right to health funding presently and the demonstrated potential of right to health initiatives to strengthen health systems and meet the health needs of marginalized populations--and enable these populations to be treated with dignity. We call for a civil society-led multi-stakeholder process to further conceptualize, and then launch, an R2HCF, helping create a world where, whether during a health emergency or in ordinary times, no one is left behind.

Gatter, Robert and Seema Mohapatra, 'COVID-19 and the Conundrum of Mask Requirements' (2020) 77(1) Washington and Lee Law Review Online 17-30

Abstract: As states begin to loosen their COVID-19 restrictions, public debate is underway about what public health measures are appropriate. Many states have some form of mask-wearing orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection. Public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization has conflicted. From a public health point of view, it is not clear what the right answer is. In the absence of directives, individuals are also making their own choices about mask use. At a time when public health measures, like shelter-in-place orders and social distancing, are being used to stop the spread of coronavirus, wearing masks can be seen as a form of solidarity and desire to not infect others. Similarly, not wearing a mask can also be a political statement of sorts. Additionally, black men wearing masks have reported being asked to leave stores and fearing for their own safety. This essay provides an overview of the legal and policy landscape and focuses on the potential for policing against African Americans when mask mandates are in place. Despite the public health benefits of mask usage, due to mask mandates likely being enforced discriminatorily, we advise caution against mask mandates. Rather, we suggest ways to support mask use, such as normalizing their use via advertising and media buy-in.

Gaynor, Tia Sheree and Meghan E Wilson, 'Social Vulnerability and Equity: The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19' (2020) 80(5) Public Administration Review 832-838

Abstract: As the architect of racial disparity, racism shapes the vulnerability of communities. Socially vulnerable communities are less resilient in their ability to respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters when compared to resourced communities. This essay argues that racism exposes existing practices and structures in public administration that, along with the effects of COVID-19, have led to disproportionate infection and death rates of Black people. Using the Centers for Disease Control's Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) authors analyze the ways Black bodies occupy the most vulnerable communities, making them bear the brunt of COVID-19's impact. Findings suggest that existing disparities exacerbate COVID-19 outcomes for Black people. Targeted universalism is offered as an administrative framework to meet the needs of all people impacted by COVID-19. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Gee, Gilbert C, Marguerite J Ro and Anne W Rimoin, 'Seven Reasons to Care About Racism and COVID-19 and Seven Things to Do to Stop It' (2020) 110(7) American Journal of Public Health 954-955

Abstract: As the architect of racial disparity, racism shapes the vulnerability of communities. Socially vulnerable communities are less resilient in their ability to respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters when compared to resourced communities. This essay argues that racism exposes existing practices and structures in public administration that, along with the effects of COVID-19, have led to disproportionate infection and death rates of Black people. Using the Centers for Disease Control's Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) authors analyze the ways Black bodies occupy the most vulnerable communities, making them bear the brunt of COVID-19's impact. Findings suggest that existing disparities exacerbate COVID-19 outcomes for Black people. Targeted universalism is offered as an administrative framework to meet the needs of all people impacted by COVID-19.

Germain, Sabrina and Adrienne Yong, 'COVID-19 Highlighting Inequalities in Access to Healthcare in England: A Case Study of Ethnic Minority and Migrant Women' (2020) 28(3) Feminist Legal Studies 301-310

Abstract: Our commentary aims to show that the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified existing barriers to healthcare in England for ethnic minority and migrant women. We expose how the pandemic has affected the allocation of healthcare resources leading to the prioritisation of COVID-19 patients and suspending the equal access to healthcare services approach. We argue that we must look beyond this disruption in provision by examining existing barriers to access that have been amplified by the pandemic in order to understand the poorer health outcomes for women in ethnic minority and migrant communities. The reflection focuses on racialised medical perceptions, gendered cultural norms including information barriers and stigma, and specific legal barriers.

Gezici, Armagan and Ozge Ozay, 'How Race and Gender Shape COVID-19 Unemployment Probability' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3675022, 16 July 2020)

Abstract: Using the April 2020 Current Population Survey (CPS) micro dataset, we explore the racialized and gendered effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the probability of being unemployed. The distribution of job losses from COVID-19 for women and men or for different racial/ethnic categories has been studied in the recent literature. We contribute to this literature by providing the first intersectional analysis of unemployment under COVID-19, where we examine the differences in the likelihood of unemployment across groups of White men, White women, Black men, Black women, Hispanic men, and Hispanic women. Controlling for individual characteristics such as education and age, as well as industry and occupation effects, we show that women of all three racial/ethnic categories are more likely to be unemployed compared to men, yet there are substantial differences across these groups based on different unemployment measures. Hispanic women have the highest likelihood of being unemployed, followed by Black women, who are still more likely to be unemployed than White women. We also examine if the ability to work from home has benefited any particular group in terms of lowering their likelihood of unemployment during the pandemic. We find that in industries with a high degree of teleworkable jobs, White women, Black men, and Hispanic men are no longer more likely to be unemployed relative to White men. However, Black women and Hispanic Women still experience a significantly higher probability of losing their jobs compared to White men even if they are employed in industries with highly teleworkable jobs. As we control for both individual and aggregate factors, our results suggest that these differences are not simply the result of the overrepresentation of women of color in certain industries and occupations; rather, unobservable factors such as discrimination could be at work.

Giannoulopoulos, Dimitrios, 'The Eurosceptic Right and (Our) Human Rights: The Threat to the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights Is Alive and Well' (2020) 2020(3) European Human Rights Law Review 225-242

Abstract: The Conservative party's policy on the Human Rights Act (HRA) and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has, in recent years, mutated from direct political aggression (with the pledge to repeal the Act in the 2015 manifesto) to a strategy of creating ambiguity and chipping away at its democratic legitimacy (with the 2017 and 2019 manifestos). In the latest development in the saga of UK hostility towards the ECHR and the HRA, Britain has refused to commit to the ECHR as an essential element in any future partnership with the EU. This article examines the significance of this development, deducing from it that the Eurosceptic right in the UK quite openly spies another chance to fulfil its long-held ambition of getting rid of European human rights, having identified Strasbourg as the next target in the project to 'take back control'. The article also contends that the magnitude of the risk that the HRA and ECHR are facing in the UK post Brexit cannot be fully grasped absent an analysis of how deep a Eurosceptic, anti-human rights, executive sovereignty-centred ideology now runs within the governing party. The article undertakes such analysis with reference to some of the Eurosceptic, anti-human rights ideologues in the Conservative party. It concludes by bringing into focus the potential impact of two external developments -- the Covid-19 crisis, and the election of Sir Keir Starmer as leader of the opposition -- upon the future of the HRA and the ECHR in the UK.

Gilchrist, Heidi, '"Act Normal or Leave": When Law and Culture Collide' [2020] Columbia Journal of European Law (forthcoming)

Abstract: 'Act normal or leave' wrote the Prime Minister of the Netherlands before the 2017 elections in an open letter published on-line and in full-page newspaper advertisements. This article examines the idea of legislating 'normal' and what this means in a diverse world. I specifically explore laws that criminalize dress in Europe - burqa bans that can even carry jail time for women who cover their face in public. I look at these laws as forced assimilation and as simply a 'Muslim ban.' Not only is forced assimilation ineffective, it is a national security threat. In upholding and justifying these laws, I question whether the European Court of Human Rights has created a dangerous new right of the majority not to be offended. Although I argue against these criminal laws, I also consider the issue of what duty to integrate newcomers do have to a host country where they are living and ways in which pop culture can help this integration take place. I then analogize local laws in the United States that criminalize 'saggy pants.' In Louisiana, a young man died after being chased by police for wearing saggy pants. Although obvious differences, these laws share the flaw of using the force of law against a minority group by criminalizing dress. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent laws in Europe requiring face masks, but still criminalizing burqas, highlight the injustice.

Goldmann, Matthias, 'Human Rights and Democracy in Economic Policy Reform: The European COVID-19 Response under Scrutiny' (2020) 24(9) The International Journal of Human Rights 1290-1310

Abstract: This article argues that the impact of economic policy reforms on democratic institutions might compromise the enjoyment of human rights, especially economic, social, and cultural rights (ESC rights). This impact is twofold: First, economic reform policies driven by international and supranational institutions compromise democratic self-determination. Second, economic reform policies driven by the need to reduce public expenditure might put marginalised groups at risk and hamper their democratic participation. Since the realisation of ESC rights requires a framework for legitimate redistributive decisions, any such impairment of democratic institutions poses a risk to the realisation of ESC rights. Courts are unlikely to fully compensate for this risk. The Guiding Principles on Human Rights Impact Assessments of Economic Reforms (the Guiding Principles) devise a way for jointly strengthening human rights and democracy. Crucially, they urge states to subject economic policy reforms to democratic control. Human rights impact assessments may empower the public sphere and shift economic policy reforms from the Arcanum of high-level international negotiations back to democratic processes. Moreover, the Guiding Principles oblige states to design comprehensive and participatory economic policy reforms. The article shows the potential of the Guiding Principles by probing the European Union's response to COVID-19 and suggests improvements.

Gostin, Lawrence O and Eric Friedman, 'Imagining Global Health with Justice: Transformative Ideas for Health and Wellbeing While Leaving No One Behind' (2020) 108(6) Georgetown Law Journal 1535-1606

Abstract: The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color in the United States and immense vulnerabilities in lower-income countries has revealed a global health reality that is often overshadowed by decades of progress in overall global health, with new lows in child and maternal deaths every year, more people with HIV receiving access to lifesaving anti-retroviral therapy, and rising life expectancies. That reality is one of vast national and global inequalities, with the lived experiences of members of marginalized populations far removed from laudatory health headlines. Here, we propose an ambitious agenda to bridge the gap between progress in global health and the realities of vast swaths of the world's people. These proposals could comprise part of a new post-COVID-19 global health architecture to prepare the world for the next pandemic and protect even the poorest people in the poorest countries. We offer three ideas that, collectively, would span from international law to domestic law and policy to grassroots empowerment: a Framework Convention on Global Health, health equity programs of action, and a Right to Health Capacity Fund.A Framework Convention on Global Health would be a global treaty based in the right to health and aimed at national and global health equity, creating a missing regime of accountability for the right to health. It would take the right to health to the next level, bringing specificity to presently vague human rights standards and providing concrete tools to achieve them. Health equity programs of action would be systemic, systematic, and inclusive approaches to address health inequities that each marginalized population experiences, across the determinants of health. And a Right to Health Capacity Fund would empower right to health advocacy and advance equity, accountability, and participation by providing grants to civil society organizations advocating for the right to health and by supporting accountability and participation mechanisms. If brought to fruition, these proposals, which would interact with and reinforce with one another, would have a transformative impact on global health, greatly reducing health inequities - leaving no one behind in health in both ordinary and extraordinary times.

Gostin, Lawrence O and Eric A Friedman, 'Health Inequalities' (2020) 50(4) Hastings Center Report 6-8

Abstract: Health inequalities are embedded in a complex array of social, political, and economic inequalities. Responding to health inequalities will require systematic action targeting all the underlying ('upstream') social determinants that powerfully affect health and well-being. Systemic inequalities are a major reason for the rise of modern populism that has deeply divided polities and infected politics, perhaps nowhere more so than in the United States. Concerted action to mitigate shocking levels of inequality could be a powerful antidote to nationalist populism. A basic yet critical start to addressing health inequalities is to recognize them, which demands improving data collection and analysis. Certainly, global indicators show vast progress in reducing poverty and extending life. Yet aggregate health data mask a deeper reality: health gains have disproportionately benefited the well-off, leaving the poor and middle-class behind.

Gostin, Lawrence O, Eric Friedman and Sarah Wetter, 'Responding to COVID-19: How to Navigate a Public Health Emergency Legally and Ethically' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3579094, 26 March 2020)

Abstract: Widespread social separation is rapidly becoming the norm, including closure of schools and universities, tele-commuting to work, bans on large gatherings, and millions of people isolated in their homes or make-shift facilities. Bans on international travel are already pervasive. Domestic travel restrictions are exceedingly rare, but now within the realm of possibility. Officials are even discussing cordon sanitaires (guarded areas where people may not enter or leave), popularly described as 'lockdowns' or mass quarantines. When the health system becomes stretched beyond capacity, how can we ethically allocate scarce health goods and services? How can we ensure that marginalized populations can access the care they need? What ethical duties do we owe to vulnerable people separated from their families and communities? And how do we ethically and legally balance public health with civil liberties?

Gostin, Lawrence O and James G Hodge, 'US Emergency Legal Responses to Novel Coronavirus: Balancing Public Health and Civil Liberties' (2020) 323(12) Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) 1131-1132

Abstract: With increasing numbers of cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) globally and in the United States, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar declared a national public health emergency on January 31. The emergency declaration of the HHS authorizes additional resources, enhanced federal powers, interjurisdictional coordination, and waivers of specific regulations. State and local public health emergency declarations are also likely. During crises, government has a special responsibility to thoughtfully balance public health protections and civil liberties.

Gostin, Lawrence O, Safura Abdool Karim and Benjamin Mason Meier, 'Facilitating Access to a COVID-19 Vaccine through Global Health Law' (2020) 48(3) The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 622-626

Goutte, Stephane, Thomas Porcher and Thomas Peran, 'Social Inequalities and Vulnerability of Population Facing the COVID-19: The Case of Seine-Saint-Denis in Ile-De-France' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3605881, 20 May 2020)
Abstract: The vast majority of research focuses on the individual factors leading to coronavirus mortality. Numerous studies have shown that the age of the population is the dominant factor explaining mortality. Other more recent work has added gender, comorbidity, ethnicity and obesity. Based on the most populous and dense region of France -- Ile-d-de-France, grouping 8 heterogeneous departments in terms of wealth -- our study seeks to identify whether economic and financial or structural factors related to housing can explain a faster circulation of the virus during social distancing like lockdown, and therefore lead to excess mortality. We show that agglomerations with higher precariousness indicators (unemployment benefit income, poverty rate, social minima in income, little or no graduate in the workforce) and less suitable housing (potentially unworthy housing, household size, overcrowded housing) are more at risk, including if their population is younger. Our study therefore provides political leaders with a number of indications allowing them to take effective measures in the event of a second wave of COVID-19 or forthcoming coronavirus pandemics.

Grace, Jamie, 'UK Human Rights Cases in the Time of COVID-19' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3745960, 6 January 2021)
Abstract: Judicial review claims throughout the 2020 pandemic phase have highlighted both the social justice and the civil liberties issues with the UK government response to the impact and seriousness of COVID-19. These legal claims have been based around Human Rights Act grounds, and sometimes on wider international human rights law instruments, and also on traditional common law grounds of review; such as irrationality, failure to consult, and other types of illegality ground. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an exercise in exploring the multitude of ways in which drastic public health policy can affect human rights even as it entails those legislative measures that are taken to protect us from a virulent disease, with all-too-often fatal consequences for those who are infected. As shown in the important Court of Appeal judgment in the 'lockdown' case of Dolan, discussed in this paper, rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (1950), in taking effect through the Human Rights Act 1998, work on the basis of a variety of structures and degrees of importance and protection, depending on the rights concerned - and the range of rights at stake under the ECHR, through the coronavirus pandemic, has been very great indeed. However, judicial consideration of key cases to date, such as Dolan, has highlighted the latitude given to executive discretion used in dealing with the public health crisis of the pandemic, as it has affected the UK.

Greene, Alan, 'Derogating from the European Convention on Human Rights in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic: If Not Now, When?' [2020] (3) European Human Rights Law Review 262-276
Abstract: This article argues in favour of the use of derogations in accordance with Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. States of emergency are designed to quarantine exceptional powers to exceptional situations. In contrast, far from protecting human rights, failure to use Article 15 ECHR risks normalising exceptional powers and permanently recalibrating human rights protections downwards.Part 1 outlines why the work of Carl Schmitt has distorted perceptions of states of emergency, emphasising their antagonistic relation to the extant legal order while ignoring their potential to protect legal norms in a time of normalcy by quarantining exceptional powers to exceptional situations. Part 2 then discusses illustrative examples of rights that may be affected by lockdown measures, arguing that ambiguity as to the scope of the right to liberty in Article 5 ECHR should be resolved in favour of as narrow an interpretation of Article 5 as possible, conceptualising lockdown measures as deprivations of liberty falling outside the scope of Article 5.1(e)--deprivation of liberty to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Part 3 then addresses some of the critiques of derogations, arguing that the real risk of emergency powers is their propensity to become permanent. This risk is amplified by the failure to declare a de jure state of emergency. Ultimately, this article asks: if not now, when?

Griffin, Frank, 'COVID-19 and Public Accommodations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: Getting Americans Safely Back to Restaurants, Theaters, Gyms, and "Normal"' (2021) 65(2) _Saint Louis University Law Journal (forthcoming)_
Abstract: COVID-19 permanently changed the way places of public accommodation like restaurants, theaters, medical facilities, arenas, gyms, and many other proprietors of mainstream American activities must operate in order to accommodate people with newly-defined, COVID-19-related disabilities under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The required modifications will affect all patrons and employees of these establishments. Under the ADA, places of public accommodation are barred from discriminating against people with disabilities in the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, and facilities. Infectious diseases like tuberculosis and HIV have been categorized as disabilities under the ADA, and COVID-19 is defining new categories of individuals with disabilities (including individuals vulnerable to COVID-19 complications) as revealed in this paper. Places of public accommodation will be required to establish non-discriminatory methods to identify 'direct threats,' to modify policies and procedures for COVID-19-related disability groups identified here, and remove structural barriers that discriminate against those same groups. Controversial measures like fever checkpoints, mandatory face masking, and required social distancing are discussed in depth and analyzed in light of the ADA's requirements.

Grugorovych, Chystokletov Leontii et al, 'Administrative and legal principles of human rights protection in the conditions of coronavirus COVID-19 in Ukraine' (2020) 7(18) Journal of Critical Reviews 1316-1323
Abstract: On the basis of theoretical and practical views, the administrative and legal principles of human rights protection in the context of the coronavirus COVID-19 spread, which is relevant in Ukraine and around the world, have been examined in the article. In this regard, the question of the effectiveness of activities in counteracting the epidemic created in accordance with the new tasks of public authorities and, above all, health authorities, without violating the basic rights of the individual and citizen, is of great importance. It has been proved that the legal analysis of the implementation of international and domestic regulations indicates the unusual views on the problems of human rights provision during the emergency situation that has developed in connection with the fight against the coronavirus COVID-19. Grounded on international and national practice, attention has been drawn to the administrative and legal principles of medical secrecy protection during the epidemic. It has been proven that the disclosure of medical secrets is allowed in cases of suspicion of the patient's intention to commit a crime, or on the basis of a court decision to disclose information about a dangerous infectious disease. Recommendations aimed at improving measures to protect human and civil rights in the context of counteracting the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 have been given in the article.

Grugorovych, Chystokletov Leontii et al, 'Human Rights Protection Conditions of Covid-19, Legal Principals and Administrative Barriers in Ukraine' (2020) 17(7) PalArch's Journal of Archaeology of Egypt / Egyptology 11198-11210

Harris, Jasmine, 'COVID-19, Disability, and the Rise of a Modern Deinstitutionalization Movement' (2021) 106 _Cornell Law Review Online (forthcoming)_
Abstract: This Article argues that the current pandemic has raised the stakes (and, in some respects, has cleared the way) for a modern deinstitutionalization movement. The hotbeds of COVID-19 continue to be congregate 'custodial spaces' such as nursing homes, prisons/jails, psychiatric hospitals, group homes, and immigration detention centers. This project makes three unique contributions to the emerging legal literature on COVID-19 and equality law. First and descriptively, I show how the design of congregate facilities makes them ill-suited for effective responses to the current pandemic by interrogating early design choices as illustrative of penal intent and control. By juxtaposing the criminalization and institutionalization of disfavored bodies and minds through multiple bodies of law - criminal law, immigration law, and disability laws - a clearer image of structural subordination emerges that unites the often-siloed movements for racial and disability justice. Second, this Article offers a typology of legal interventions designed to address the growing COVID-19 risks to particularly vulnerable groups of people with pre-existing disabilities and older adults with compromised immune systems. This typology allows for a more critical examination of the ability of existing laws to address the systemic inequities of the current public health crisis. Third, with the previous lessons and framework, I join the normative conversation on reform versus abolition of largescale institutions as service providers with particular attention to the role of race and disability.

Harris, Jasmine, 'The Frailty of Disability Rights' (2020) 169(1) University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online 29-63
Abstract: Whoever said pandemics were equalizers doesn't know a thing about disability legal history. It does not take much of a pretext to rollback disability rights. This is because disability rights laws, despite enumerated principles of equal opportunity and civil rights, have always been viewed as 'nice to do' and not 'must do.' Simply put, society continues to misunderstand disability--what it means, who the category includes or excludes, its relationship to impairment, its valence and construction as an identity. Moral and religious-tinged frames have trumped the perception of disability as a protected class akin to race, gender, or national origin. This view explains Congress's intent that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) play, not only a remedial role for disability discrimination ex post, but a proactive, ex ante role in upending problematic social norms that treat disability and incapacity as synonymous. Similarly, the perception of disability as a different kind of civil right helps explain the Supreme Court's interpretive missteps in the infancy and adolescence of the ADA and Congress's direct reproach and redirection of the Court in the ADA Amendments Act eighteen years later. Inattention to underlying social judgments about disability and the associated discrimination has caught up with us. Progressive legislation in this pandemic without requisite interventions designed to address how people interpret the disability laws offers precarious protections for people with disabilities. The stakes could not be higher in some areas, namely, life or death denials of health care access based on certain disabilities or biased quality of life measures. Disability scholars in recent weeks have largely focused on addressing why COVID-19-related rationing on the categorical basis of disability offends federal (and state) disability antidiscrimination laws as a means to ensure people with disabilities have access to life-saving medical treatment in and out of hospitals. They persuasively apply disability laws and principles of legal and medical ethics to show why disability is an improper consideration in rationing care and resources. The underlying problem with rationing is much larger and is slowly unfolding with respect to access and rights in other areas including education, housing, and employment. That is, it is not just about devaluation of the lives of individuals with disabilities; it is a symptom of something much deeper. The pervasive and negative impacts of this devaluation will endure long after the immediate healthcare issues are tackled. This Essay surfaces a broader, unresolved issue in disability law laid bare by the current pandemic--that disability rights have never had the public understanding and buy in necessary to exercise and interpret disability laws to generate largescale structural reform. As a result, when people with disabilities are seen (and treated) as unequal, deficient, and incapable, legal enforcement of antidiscrimination laws is, at best, seen as optional and aspirational, creating space for the current manifestations of disability discrimination during the coronavirus crisis. These problems are compounded when medical supplies, personnel, and time are limited. Part I describes real time rollbacks of disability rights in the healthcare access context that are currently unfolding, and the legal responses designed to push back on health care rationing. I then shift to a less studied area, access to education, an evolving landscape as students across the country face the realities of distance learning. Part II argues that the current forms of discrimination lay bare the fundamental information deficits about disability that negatively skew legal interpretation and undermine the protections of disability laws. Part III identifies key questions and areas of concern as we contend with the virus and its aftermath.

Harris, Patricia J, Aysha Pamukcu and Efthimios Parasidis, 'Fostering the Civil Rights of Health' in Scott Burris et al (eds), Assessing Legal Responses to COVID-19 (Public Health Law Watch, 2020) 252-256
Abstract: Pandemics, like climate disasters, thrive on inequality. COVID-19 is no exception, flourishing where inequality has weakened the social fabric. One of these weaknesses is long-standing racial discrimination, which has produced unjust, racialized disparities in COVID-19 transmission and mortality, and disproportionate economic harm to people of color. Efforts to address these racial disparities have been hindered by a series of governance and advocacy disconnects. Some of these disconnects are wellknown and widely discussed, such as fractures in federal, state, and local leadership that have politicized basic public health measures such as wearing masks. Less-well understood is the society-wide failure to adequately address racial discrimination in all its forms. This has perpetuated the disconnection of public health and civil rights advocacy from one another, and the disconnection of public health and civil rights professionals from anti-discrimination social movements. One promising tool to bridge these disconnects is research on the social determinants of health. Highlighting the ways in which discrimination is a public health problem allows legal advocates to use civil rights law as a health intervention and public health advocates to squarely challenge discrimination. In keeping with the emergent health justice movement, civil rights and public health advocates can amplify their effectiveness by partnering with organizations that fight discrimination. We call this approach 'the civil rights of health.' This agenda for action requires (1) integrating civil rights and public health initiatives and (2) fostering three-way partnerships among civil rights, public health, and justice movement leaders (Harris & Pamukcu, 2019).

Harrop, Sarah, 'Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Workplace: A Work in Progress' (2020) 2040 Estates Gazette 49-50
Abstract: Examines the equality and diversity provisions under the Equality Act 2010 which aim to prevent discrimination in the workplace, focusing on those enabling employers to take positive action. Looks at gender pay gap reporting requirements and the risks to BAME individuals posed by Covid-19.

Hellman, Deborah and Kate Nicholson, 'Rationing and Disability in a State of Crisis' (Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No 2020-33, 2020)
Abstract: The rise in COVID-19 cases is soon to overwhelm health care systems, leading to difficult moral and legal choices about how to ration scarce resources, and, most especially, ventilators. Many states have protocols that address this question. These protocols adopt a fully utilitarian approach, aiming simply to save as many lives as possible. To do so, they prioritize patients who are most likely to benefit from care and set standard benchmarks for how quickly a patient must show improvement to continue ventilation. These protocols and related policies of private health care systems are likely to disadvantage people with disabilities, as a disproportionate number of disabled people have health conditions that will make them less likely to survive or will require them to have more time to show improvement.This (draft) Article examines whether the utilitarian approach, which considers only aggregate harms and benefits, is consistent with The Americans With Disabilities Act, and other discrimination statutes, which pay significant attention to the distribution of harms and benefits. The Article focuses especially on facially-neutral policies that will have the effect of discriminating impermissibly against the disabled. As such, it considers four rationing principles that track those used by states and ultimately argues that none balances equity with utility, as discrimination law demands.

Hendl, Tereza, Ryoa Chung and Verina Wild, 'Pandemic Surveillance and Racialized Subpopulations: Mitigating Vulnerabilities in COVID-19 Apps' (2020) 17(4) Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 829-834
Abstract: Debates about effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have emphasized the paramount importance of digital tracing technology in suppressing the disease. So far, discussions about the ethics of this technology have focused on privacy concerns, efficacy, and uptake. However, important issues regarding power imbalances and vulnerability also warrant attention. As demonstrated in other forms of digital surveillance, vulnerable subpopulations pay a higher price for surveillance measures. There is reason to worry that some types of COVID-19 technology might lead to the employment of disproportionate profiling, policing, and criminalization of marginalized groups. It is, thus, of crucial importance to interrogate vulnerability in COVID-19 apps and ensure that the development, implementation, and data use of this surveillance technology avoids exacerbating vulnerability and the risk of harm to surveilled subpopulations, while maintaining the benefits of data collection across the whole population. This paper outlines the major challenges and a set of values that should be taken into account when implementing disease surveillance technology in the pandemic response.

Hodge, James G, Hanna Reinke and Claudia M Reeves, 'Balancing Religious Freedoms and Public Health Protections During the COVID-19 Pandemic' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3619427, 4 June 2020)
Abstract: Extraordinary responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are generating substantial debates over the scope and reach of public health powers and religious freedoms. Emergency declarations at every level of government to limit societal impacts of COVID-19 may shift constitutional norms, but do not completely negate rights to free exercise or assemble. Yet, no one has an unmitigated right to harm others in pursuit of their faith. Somewhere between individual religious rights and communal public health objectives lies a legally viable balance. Finding it during the pandemic is controversial. Among the most contentious issues are governments' temporary orders suspending large religious gatherings to maintain social distances. While many religious leaders have complied, others have vociferously objected. Reaching accord begins with an assessment of legal principles of separation of church and state, especially concerning claims of religious rights to assemble despite unprecedented public health risks.

Hodgson, Tim Fish and Ian Seiderman, 'COVID-19 Symposium: COVID-19 Responses and State Obligations Concerning the Right to Health (Part 1)' in Barrie Sander and Jason Rudall (eds), Opinio Juris Symposium on COVID-19 and International Law (2020)
Introduction: Part 1 addresses the general obligation of States to protect the right to health in the context of COVID-19. We then to turn to that obligation as it relates to the private health sector and private health actors' responsibilities to respect the right to health.

Hodgson, Tim Fish and Ian Seiderman, 'COVID-19 Symposium: COVID-19 Responses and State Obligations Concerning the Right to Health (Part 2)' in Barrie Sander and Jason Rudall (eds), Opinio Juris Symposium on COVID-19 and International Law (2020)
Introduction: Part 1 addresses the general obligation of States to protect the right to health in the context of COVID-19. We then to turn to that obligation as it relates to the private health sector and private health actors' responsibilities to respect the right to health.

Hoffman, Allison K, 'How Medicalization of Civil Rights Could Disappoint' (University of Pennsylvania Law School, Public Law Research Paper No 20-28, 20 August 2020)
Abstract: This essay reflects on Craig Konnoth's recent Article, Medicalization and the New Civil Rights, which is a carefully crafted and thought-provoking description of the refashioning of civil rights claims into medical rights frameworks. He compellingly threads together many intellectual traditions--from antidiscrimination law to disability law to health law--to illustrate the pervasiveness of the phenomenon that he describes and why it might be productive as a tool to advance civil rights. This response, however, offers several reasons why medicalization may not cure all that ails civil rights litigation's pains and elaborates on the potential risks of overinvesting in medical rights-seeking. It concludes by considering how the COVID-19 pandemic, which has produced a dramatic medical manifestation of social inequities growing out of decades of civil rights deprivation, can illuminate potential benefits and risks of medicalization.

Hong, Seung-Hun, Ha Hwang and Min-Hye Park, 'Effect of COVID-19 Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions and Threats to Human Rights' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3677019, 19 August 2020)
Abstract: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments have implemented non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to curb rapid virus transmission. A growing concern is that such interventions, aimed at ensuring public safety, may severely restrain fundamental human rights. This paper examines which NPIs are more effective than others in containing COVID-19 with the consideration of their threat to human rights. After classifying NPIs into three categories according to their threat to human rights: the right to freedom of movement, the right to freedom of assembly, and the right to privacy, this paper conducts linear regression analyses on the effectiveness of NPIs in containing COVID-19 over 108 countries. This paper finds that school closure is effective in containing COVID-19 only when it is implemented along with complete contact tracing. We confirm the results of the regression analysis by examining the changes in the cumulated number of confirmed cases and the changes of NPIs in ten selected countries. Our findings imply that to contain COVID-19 effectively and minimize the risk of human rights abuse, governments should consider implementing prudently designed full contact tracing and school closure policies, among others. Other interventions limiting freedom of movement and assembly should be carefully adopted with minimal infringement of human rights.

Hu, Luojia and Bo E Honore, 'The Covid-19 Pandemic and Asian American Employment' (FRB of Chicago Working Paper No 2020-19, 21 September 2020)
Abstract: This paper documents that the employment of Asian Americans with no college education has been especially hard hit by the economic crisis associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. This cannot be explained by differences in demographics or in job characteristics. Asian American employment is also harder hit unconditional on education. This suggests that different selection into education levels across ethnic groups alone cannot explain the main results. This pattern does not apply to the 2008 economic crisis. Our findings suggest that this period might be fundamentally different from the previous recession.

Huang, Peter H, 'COVID-19, Anti-Asian Racism, and Anti-Asian American Racism' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3664356, 30 July 2020)
Abstract: This Essay analyzes how fear, anger, and hatred over COVID-19 fueled anti-Asian racism and anti-Asian American racism. This Essay also critiques respectability politics in response to racism. Finally, this Essay examines utilizing humor to reject anti-Asian American racism.

'Human Rights' [2020] (July) Public Law 561-563
Abstract: Reviews developments relating to human rights, including: a statement of principles on the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the context of the coronavirus pandemic; the inaugural Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Lecture entitled 'The Democratic Virtues of Human Rights Law'; delegated legislation for the coronavirus 'lockdown'; the Marmont report, 'Health Equity in England'; and Equality and Human Rights Commission's reports.

Jackman, Martha, 'Fault Lines: COVID-19, the Charter, and Long-Term Care' in Colleen M Flood et al (eds), Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19 (University of Ottawa Press, 2020) 339
Abstract: COVID-19 has underscored the crucial role of the single-payer health care system in ensuring access to care based on need, consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter) and international human rights guarantees. But significant fault lines were exposed when health authorities across the country concentrated their pandemic readiness efforts on maximizing hospitals' capacity to deal with the anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients, without considering the potentially disastrous consequences for an already struggling long-term care system. COVID-19 laid bare the reality that barriers to care continue to exist as a function of who patients are and where they are being treated. Focussing on COVID-19 hospital transfer decisions and their impact on the life, liberty, and security of the person and the equality rights of long-term care residents, this chapter argues that governments and health care decision makers in Canada must recognize that access to a comprehensive range of care is a fundamental right, and that human rights-based accountability is urgently needed in the battle against COVID-19, and beyond.

Johnson, Eddie Bernice and Lawrence J Trautman, 'The Demographics of Death: An Early Look at COVID-19, Cultural and Racial Bias in America' _Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly (Forthcoming)_
Abstract: During late 2019, reports emerge that a mysterious coronavirus is resulting in high contagion and many deaths in Wuhan, China. In just a few weeks, cases are rising quickly in Seattle, have spread to California, and the first case is reported in New York (from Iran) on March 1, 2020. Apparent that necessary widespread testing efforts for the virus have been botched by the U.S. government, reports emerge that: well-known celebrities, Washington politicians, and even entire N.B.A. teams were somehow finding available coronavirus testing, while the very scarce testing is denied to first responders and millions of other Americans. As the months pass it is abundantly clear that less wealthy Americans have far fewer options amid the new normal of shelter-in-place orders, school closings, and shuttered businesses. The poor and other certain populations may be genetically pre-disposed to heart disease and diabetic issues. Poverty dictates cheaper diets that may be high in carbohydrates (macaroni and cheese, pasta, etc.) and thus more likely to result in poor nutrition. COIVD-19 lays bare the fundamental racism in U.S. culture and public policy. The virus does not care about personal wealth, religion, or race. Enlightened self- interest dictates that we take care of the least fortunate among us. From a global perspective, corona virus is an issue that impacts and threatens us all. Census data reveals that sixty (60) percent of Black Americans (42.5 million) live in just 10 U.S. States. Can the super concentration of Black Americans in cities be a culprit in the disease ratios? What about hyper-exposure to fast-food and sugary drinks which is genuinely attributable to obesity and diabetes in old-age? Within a very few months, words such as apocalyptic are used to describe the 2020 American pandemic experience. By August 2020, it is obvious that the U.S. caseload leads the world with over 5 million infected.

Joseph, Sarah, 'International Human Rights Law and the Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic' (2020) 11(2) Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies 249-269
Abstract: States have duties under Article 12(2)(c) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to prevent, control and treat covid-19. Implementation of these three obligations is analysed, taking account of countervailing human rights considerations. Regarding prevention, lockdowns designed to stop the spread of the virus are examined. Control measures are then discussed, namely transparency measures, quarantine, testing and tracing. The human rights compatibility of treatment measures, namely the provision of adequate medical and hospital care (or the failure to do so), are then examined. Finally, derogations from human rights treaties in times of pubic emergency are discussed.

Jovicic, Sanja, 'COVID-19 Restrictions on Human Rights in the Light of the Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights' (2021) 21(4) ERA Forum 545-560
Abstract: The aim of this article is to examine the restrictions imposed by European States on individual human rights during the COVID-19 pandemic in the light of the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. After an overview of the development of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights on public emergencies and Article 15 of the Convention, the article will examine how the Court's case-law could be applied to the current sanitary situation.

Kamiloglu, Ozan, 'Rethinking Minimum Guarantees after the Pandemic: The Invisible Violence of Neoliberal Rationality' in Carla Ferstman et al (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 19-26
Abstract: This essay suggests that the pandemic brings unprecedented economic and social challenges while simultaneously opening the door for the renegotiation of minimum guarantees that human rights discourses conceptualise. The particular conditions of the pandemic have the potential to crystallise slow and structured forms of violence, and widen our imagination of the possibilities for human rights discourses. This is especially the case because neoliberal rationality doesn't have the hegemony over social movements and human rights imagination, as it may have done in the 90s.

Kaminer, Debbie, 'Discrimination Against Employees Without COVID-19 Antibodies' New York Law Journal (4 May 2020)
Abstract: Policies favoring those with immunity to a contagious disease are a novel concept. It is therefore important to think about the legal and policy issues associated with banning employees without immunity to COVID-19 from the workplace and the appropriate balance between an individual's right to work and the public health of the nation.

Kansra, Deepa, 'Rights and Obligations during COVID-19: A Look at Selected UN Statements' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3637217, 15 May 2020)
Abstract: In April 2020, the UN Office of the Commissioner of Human Rights & the Committee under ICESCR [International Covenant on Economic, Social, Cultural Rights] issued general and special statements addressing the challenges being faced by individuals & States in light of the prevailing global health crisis.The statements highlight the key human rights principles and standards applicable in light of COVID 19. At the same time, developments around the world open up for scrutiny questions on the current status of human rights and responsibilities. Several themes have become critical including the powers of states to declare emergency, the limitations on human rights derogations, and the scope and applicability of rights including right to scientific information.

Karanicolas, Michael, 'Even in a Pandemic, Sunlight Is the Best Disinfectant: COVID-19 and Global Freedom of Expression' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3726892, 8 November 2020)
Abstract: In times of war, the right to speak freely is often the first casualty. As global leaders have come to use the language of war to describe their efforts to stop COVID-19, it leads to natural questions on the extent to which freedom of expression might be compromised in order to protect public health. In particular, governments around the world have enacted new policies targeting misinformation as the pandemic has spread, or increased enforcement of existing rules. While the World Health Organization has warned of an 'infodemic' of fake news which 'spreads faster and more easily than this virus', human rights mechanisms have expressed alarm at the impacts of the accompanying crackdown on freedom of expression. This paper discusses the global human rights implications of aggressive measures targeting the spread of COVID-19-related misinformation. Part I discusses the international human rights standards with regard to misinformation. Part II explores various regulatory responses to misinformation amongst COVID-19 thus showing the impact on international human rights. Part III explores the applicability of international human rights law, specifically the standards for derogation in key human rights documents, to the current exceptional circumstances of COVID-19. Part VI asses the measures against international human rights standards, finding significant cause for concern, particularly if these enforcement postures become normalized. Part V offers alternative solutions to the human rights challenges posed by health misinformation, particularly restrictions which are more carefully targeted and less open to abuse as well as transparency measures to promote trust and accountability in public institutions. Part VI concludes.

Kemboi, Leo Kipkogei, 'Kenya's COVID-19 Policy Responses Furthering Inequality' (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3750751, 17 December 2020)
Abstract:The government response in appropriating more resources, public health responses, social protection measures and virtual learning in Education have excluded persons at different levels. Failure of government to respond appropriately have led to additional costs which cannot be recovered hence furthering economic inequality.

Kharytonov, Evgen et al, 'The Covid-19 Pandemic and the Rights of the Individual in Terms of Private and Public Law' 9(2) Ius Humani Law Journal 225-250
Abstract: The principles of adjusting the regulation of civil relations in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic are analyzed. The admissibility of restricting human rights in the context of the conflict of private and public interests are researched. Besides, the authors tried to determine the optimal algorithm of government actions aimed at preventing the spread of the epidemic. The main approach to the understanding of human rights in the article is based on Dworkin's concept of 'rights as trumps'. A system of such categories as 'a man', 'a private person', 'natural private rights', 'private law' and 'national civil law' is analyzed. The conclusion is that the importance of the category of 'natural' human rights is underestimated, which exacerbates the problem of ensuring human rights in a pandemic, when the state actively uses public law to cope with the crisis. As a result, there is a conflict of basic principles of private and public law: 'everything is allowed except what is prohibited by law' vs. 'only what is allowed by law is possible'. It is proposed to assume that the usual way of the legal existence of a person is that he/she acts as a participant in civil relations of a private type, even in a pandemic. Private relations, which arise during the quarantine period, are proposed to be regulated mainly by private law methods, limiting the influence of the state. This will allow us to reach a compromise of private and public interests, without restricting the rights of individuals voluntarily.

Kilonzo, Kethi D, 'Playing Tag with the Rule of Law: Balancing Fundamental Rights and Public Health in Kenya in the Shadow of COVID-19' (Afronomicslaw COVID-19 Symposium on International Economic Law in the Global South (May 2020), Symposium IV: Governance, Rights, and Institutions)
Abstract: The first case of Covid-19 infection within Kenya's borders was reported on 13th March 2019. The global pandemic has brought the Rule of Law in Kenya to a cross-roads as the government attempts to strike a delicate balance between the health and safety of the public, on the one hand, and their economic and social well-being, on the other. The choices have been tough, and the outcomes have been mixed. All of its policies and regulations have been met with mixed reactions as well as political and legal challenges. Covid-19 has led to many fundamental human rights and freedoms being temporarily stripped by governments and authorities across the globe. Kenya has been no exception. Since 13th March 2020, the fundamental rights to freedom of association, movement, access to justice, access to administrative action, property, assembly, demonstrations, grouping and picketing, have been suspended, impeded and or affected. In Kenya, such restrictions have a constitutional foundation in Kenya's 2010 Constitution.

Kirby, Tony, 'Evidence Mounts on the Disproportionate Effect of COVID-19 on Ethnic Minorities' (2020) 8(6) The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 547-548
Abstract: As the cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to increase across the world, evidence is continuing to emerge that the pandemic could be disproportionately affecting people from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

Kivalov, Serhil, 'Ensuring the Human Rights and Freedoms in the Context of the Pandemic Covid-19' (2020) 9(2) Ius Humani Law Journal 1-23
Abstract: The study is devoted to the establishment of the current state of ensuring of human rights and freedoms in Ukraine while counteracting the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic taking into account the institutional and legal basis of the quarantine regime, transformations of ensuring of human rights and freedoms and the rights of participants in administrative procedures. Close attention is drawn to the impossibility of restricting human rights and freedoms that go beyond the goals of Covid-19 dissemination. In carrying out this study, general philosophical and special methods of scientific knowledge were used, namely the methods of: system analysis, dialectical, formal-logical and structural-functional, as well as some empirical methods. The practical significance of the study is that its results are relevant for domestic legislators and entities that carry out public administration in the field of health care against the background of updating trends in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. A number of measures have been proposed to develop a strategy to counter the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic; creation of subjects of public administration, the competence of which will include ensuring the state policy in the field of ensuring the proper condition and maintaining the mental health of the population; implementation of the concept of electronic justice (e-court) as the only possible mechanism to ensure effective protection of the rights, freedoms, and interests of man and citizen in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kohek, Jessica et al, 'Mandatory Mask Bylaws: Considerations Beyond Exemption for Persons with Disabilities' (University of Calgary, School of Public Policy Publications No 13-20, 2020)
Abstract: The city of Calgary, like many other cities, has made wearing a mask mandatory in most public spaces in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, but adhering to the rule will not always be possible for people with disabilities. The city is clearly aware of the mask-wearing challenges faced by some people with disabilities and their caregivers, and has created exemptions to the rule for them. However, that awareness needs to be publicly promoted, otherwise people with disabilities could face social stigma, criticism or be refused service when they try to reenter the economy without a mask. This could add to the already greater risks and burdens that people with disabilities have faced throughout the pandemic. Even those people with disabilities who are able to wear masks may be unable to get ahold of masks. The province has been distributing free masks through fast-food drive-thrus. However, those may be inaccessible to people with disabilities. The city of Calgary has also distributed masks on public transit, but some people with disabilities may not be using transit given that so many places have been closed during the pandemic or because of the higher risk of illness while travelling outside their homes. Calgary needs to provide more than mask exemptions for people with disabilities to ensure that the reopening of the economy is truly inclusive. It should find new ways to distribute masks that are more accessible and it should promote public awareness of the exemptions and their rationale to encourage greater empathy and understanding in society towards unmasked people with disabilities. It should also research alternatives to masks that can be accepted under the bylaw, since standard face shields are currently not considered a substitute. People with disabilities are already at higher risk of serious illness because of COVID-19, and have already faced disproportionate isolation and stigma during the pandemic. The city of Calgary's mandatory mask policies should be designed to account for the challenges of people with disabilities so that these people are not excluded from the reopening of the economy and made to bear a greater burden than they already have.

Koltay, Andras, 'The Punishment of Scaremongering in the Hungarian Legal System. Freedom of Speech in the Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3735867, 23 November 2020)
Abstract: Scaremongering is restrained by criminal law as a limitation to freedom of speech in Hungarian law. Without relevant case law, free speech commentators had rarely discussed the provision until the government's actions taken in order to step up against the COVID-19 pandemic, and the following amendment of the Criminal Code in Spring 2020 brought the subject back into the field of public debates. The article analyses the constitutional issues related to the limitation of scaremongering, and takes the two constitutional court decisions in this subject as guideline.

Konnoth, Craig J, 'Supporting LGBT Communities in the COVID-19 Pandemic' in Scott Burris et al (eds), Assessing Legal Responses to COVID-19 (Public Health Law Watch, 2020) 234-239
Abstract: LGBT individuals suffer disproportionately in the COVID-19 pandemic. They are likely to be exposed to COVID-19 in greater numbers and suffer to a greater degree if they contract the disease. They are more likely to lose access to essential medical services, including gender confirmation and HIV medications. They are likely to suffer economic harms to a greater degree, since they are more likely to work in industries with exposure to, and likely to close because of COVID-19. They also are more likely to experience mental and emotional harms arising from the isolation, or sheltering-in-place COVID-19 necessitates. Such isolation often occurs with hostile or violent family members, while LGBT safe-spaces, organizations, institutions, and events, such as LGBT pride and LGBT centers are shut down or go virtual. This can take a toll on physical, emotional, and mental health, especially for youth and elderly LGBT individuals. Finally, when LGBT individuals seek assistance from elsewhere, including through social services, homeless shelters, and welfare, they often suffer discrimination. All these harms fall even more disproportionally on LGBT people of color and transgender individuals. To combat these harms, policymakers must implement stringent antidiscrimination protections and policies that cover the needs of LGBT individuals such as access to certain medical services. But more importantly, they should ensure that the LGBT organizations providing these services in a safe space remain funded and open. They should also collect data on the LGBT community.

Langowski, Jamie et al, 'Qualified Renters Need Not Apply: Race and Housing Voucher Discrimination in the Metro Boston Rental Housing Market' [2020] Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law Policy (forthcoming)
Abstract: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color have long had to navigate the barriers of racist laws, policies, and actions in housing. Housing discrimination perpetuates segregation and contributes to maintaining the status quo of disparities with respect to health inequities as well as income, wealth, and opportunity gaps. The COVID-19 pandemic has put these inequities in stark relief. Data on the current status of such discrimination is valuable for policy makers who should develop anti-racist policies that dismantle structural racism and its attendant harms.Using matched-pair testing, we measure the level of discrimination based on race and income level in the Greater Boston rental housing market, where both race- and income-based housing discrimination is illegal. Data from the study show high levels of discrimination against both black people and individuals using housing vouchers throughout the pre-rental application.

Laster Pirtle, Whitney N, 'Racial Capitalism: A Fundamental Cause of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Inequities in the United States' (2020) 47(4) Health Education & Behavior 504-508
Abstract: Racial capitalism is a fundamental cause of the racial and socioeconomic inequities within the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in the United States. The overrepresentation of Black death reported in Detroit, Michigan is a case study for this argument. Racism and capitalism mutually construct harmful social conditions that fundamentally shape COVID-19 disease inequities because they (a) shape multiple diseases that interact with COVID-19 to influence poor health outcomes; (b) affect disease outcomes through increasing multiple risk factors for poor, people of color, including racial residential segregation, homelessness, and medical bias; (c) shape access to flexible resources, such as medical knowledge and freedom, which can be used to minimize both risks and the consequences of disease; and (d) replicate historical patterns of inequities within pandemics, despite newer intervening mechanisms thought to ameliorate health consequences. Interventions should address social inequality to achieve health equity across pandemics.

Lawton, Betsy, 'COVID-19 Illustrates Need to Close the Digital Divide' in Scott Burris et al (eds), Assessing Legal Responses to COVID-19 (Public Health Law Watch, 2020) 222-227
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need for internet connectedness - school and work closures and social distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 require individuals to rely even more heavily on internet access to participate in telehealth programs, distance learning, and job opportunities. Yet, there remains a large digital divide in the United States, with many households lacking access to reliable broadband services. This digital divide has long been a factor limiting the achievement of public health goals for individuals that lack essential broadband infrastructure and COVID-19 response efforts have further limited internet access for those that rely on public internet access points such as public libraries. This Chapter will explore law and policy opportunities to reduce the digital divide and the resulting public health consequences flowing from the digital divide.

Lazarus, Dr Liora, 'A Preliminary Human Rights Assessment of Legislative and Regulatory Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic across 11 Jurisdictions' (University of Oxford, Faculty of Law, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, Bonavero Report No 3/2020, 6 May 2020)
Extract from Introduction: Our evaluation of Covid 19 measures also takes into account the positive obligations that States bear to protect life, access to health and health security, and the extent to which these obligations should be shaped by countervailing negative rights. A stereoscopic view of the human rights engaged in public health emergencies is thus crucial in assessing the rights conformity of particular measures. What is essential in this evaluation, are robust, transparent and expert mechanisms of accountability which are able to evaluate the scientific justifications of both rights limitations and the requirements of positive duties. This is not only a matter of proper constitutional practice, but also a requirement flowing from the effective protection of these rights.... The following report includes analyses of a cross section of jurisdictions from the global South and North. A crucial material divide between these jurisdictions lies in medical care capacity, the material impact of containment measures, and the capacity of States to mitigate the economic impact of containment measures on citizens. Each section of the report provides detailed examination of the lockdown measures and evaluates their constitutional and human rights implications. Despite these evident differences, there are clear trends and similarities across jurisdictions which this introduction will briefly highlight.

Le Bouthillier, Yves and Delphine Nakache, 'The Right of Citizens Abroad to Return During a Pandemic' in Colleen M Flood et al (eds), Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19 (University of Ottawa Press, 2020) 299
Abstract: To prevent the spread of COVID-19 Canada has, like most other states, temporarily limited access to its territory. It has, as requested by international law, allowed the return of its own citizens. However, in contrast to other countries, Canada has opted for a more restrictive approach by requesting air carriers to deny boarding to any passengers abroad, citizen or not, with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. In this article, we assess the legality of Canada's approach regarding the return of citizens, both under international human rights law and Canadian constitutional law.

Leader, Sheldon, 'The Reach of Rights in the Crisis' in Carla Ferstman and Andrew Fagan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 5-9
Introduction: This chapter explores some central challenges to bringing domestic and international human rights principles to bear on the provision of health care in this pandemic. It looks at the ways in which policy aims to balance a variety of competing rights and demands. Some involve competition for access to scarce resources in hospitals, where the competition might be between possessors of the same right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health: a gain for one might require a loss for another. Other situations involve a competition between a human right that might conflict with institutional demands that do not themselves rank as implementing human rights, but are nevertheless demands that are sometimes considered legitimate and which can exercise considerable downward pressure on the ability to give full effect to the human rights in question. This happens in the present pandemic, for example, when orders, backed by the threat of dismissal, are given by some enterprises to their workforces to return to work despite evidence that this return can jeopardise their health. While the enterprise cannot usually claim to be making a human rights-based demand in an order to return to work, there is here a recognisable competition between the right to health and the demand to stimulate the economy.

Lebret, Audrey, 'COVID-19 Pandemic and Derogation to Human Rights' (2020) 7(1) Journal of Law and the Biosciences Article lsaa015
Abstract: Under international human rights law, States can limit the exercise of most human rights if it is necessary to protect the rights of others or collective interests. The exceptional circumstances brought by the COVID-19 global pandemic lead to more extensive, on both their scope and their duration, restrictions of human rights than in usual times. This article introduces the States' specific right to derogate to human rights in circumstances of public emergency and the conditions of a legitimate derogation in the context of COVID-19. It argues that States must ensure that the general measures they adopt to face the crisis do not disproportionally harm vulnerable people.

Leigh, Andrew, 'We Can't Let Coronavirus Worsen Inequality' (2020) 85 Journal of Australian Political Economy 57-61
Abstract: Over the three-month American summer break, school students regularly diverge. In high-income families, students keep learning, thanks to museum trips, instructional camps and home tutoring. In low-income families, students slip backwards, losing one to two months' worth of learning by the time they return to school. According to one study, the 'summer slide' accounts for two-thirds of the difference between poor and rich students (Alexander 'et al.' 2007).

Lemmens, Trudo and Roxanne Mykitiuk, 'Disability Rights Concerns and Clinical Triage Protocol Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic' (2020) 40(4) Health Law in Canada 103-112
Abstract: In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic a number of jurisdictions and authorities have drafted triage protocols to guide decision making in the face of severe shortage of ventilators and intensive care resources. Several of these have evoked debate about their compatibility with human rights standards, and in particular the rights of people with disabilities. In Canada, the Canadian Medical Association came out with a general Framework for Ethical Decision Making, while Ontario Health produced a draft Clinical Triage Protocol for Major Surge in COVID Pandemic. In this commentary we critically review both documents to determine how their development process and their substantive provisions align with approaches to substantive equality and the promotion of human rights of persons with disabilities. We offer a number of recommendations to ensure that the human rights of persons with disabilities are promoted in COVID-19 triage policies.

Leung, Hannah and Jemimah Steinfeld, 'Virus Masks a Different Threat: China Is Using Covid-19 Responses and Hong Kong's New Security Law to Reduce Freedoms in the City State' (2020) 49(2) Index on Censorship 8-10

Levashenko, Antonina and Olga Magomedova, 'Risks of Digital Discrimination in the Wake of COVID-19' (2020) 13(115) Monitoring of Russia's Economic Outlook: Trends and Challenges of Socio-economic Development 3-6
Abstract: The escalation of discrimination in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic affects participants in the digital economy and other Internet users.

Lewis, Oliver, 'Supranational Human Rights Bodies and Protecting the Rights of People With Disabilities in the COVID-19 Pandemic' [2020] (4) European human rights law review 372-393
Abstract: This article has three aims. The first is to understand the array of advice, guidance, policy briefs, statements, toolkits, briefings and press releases of supranational human rights bodies (and allied bodies such as the World Health Organization) in relation to the rights of people with disabilities in the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis is set out in nine themes that recur across the guidance and are of particular relevance to people with disabilities: information accessibility, physical distancing, social protection, rights in institutional settings, independent living, monitoring institutional settings, health, education and participation. At the start of the pandemic, a group of international human rights experts called on states 'to remain steadfast in maintaining a human rights-based approach to regulating this pandemic', which inspires the second aim which is to investigate whether the supranational bodies remained sufficiently steadfast to a human rights-based approach in their response to the pandemic in relation to people with disabilities. The third aim is to suggest how can these supranational bodies make sense of this inflection point to ensure that disability rights norms are implemented beyond the crisis.

Li, Qi, 'State Regulation, Pandemic, and Africans in South China' [2020] Conflict, Justice, Decolonization: Critical Studies of Inter-Asian Societies 1-9
Abstract: During the Covid-19 pandemic, African nationals were maltreated in Guangdong Province, China. African students and businesspeople were forced to undergo additional quarantine and nucleic acid tests. Meanwhile, they were unwelcomed on the street, at their places of work and even their accommodations. In contrast to the pro-Africa diplomatic policy of the state authority, the discriminative treatment that African nationals received in China reflects a hybrid ideology of Chinese nationalism, racism, and patriarchy. Sino-African relations in Chinese society are deteriorating.

Li, Yan and Sandro Galea, 'Racism and the COVID-19 Epidemic: Recommendations for Health Care Workers' (2020) 110(7) American Journal of Public Health 956-957
Abstract: In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, racism and racial discrimination against people of Asian descent may have the following adverse health consequences. First, racism causes mental health problems--such as depression and anxiety--among those targeted. As misinformation about the causes of the virus spread rapidly on social media, people of Chinese or other Asian descent have been increasingly discriminated against and isolated at work, at school, and in other public places. Several countries and many local businesses have decided to ban Chinese nationals from entry, which inevitably increases the stress level of those thus restricted and may have long-term mental health consequences for them.

Lokhandwala, Zainab, 'Environmental Law in the Middle East and North Africa' [2020] Opinio Juris in Comparatione (pre-print)
Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) region against the backdrop of two themes: climate action and human rights. In the climate context, the renewable energy sector will certainly suffer in the immediate aftermath of Covid 19. At the same time, globally, renewables have shown more resilience than fossil fuels during this crisis, which may lead to increased investments in the long-term. Nevertheless, pre-Covid commitments and estimated future gains (if any) in renewables were not enough for combating climate change. The trajectory of regional climate action was slow and inadequate to begin with, and it is likely to suffer even further, owing to economic slowdown and relief measures that will pull resources away from climate action. In the human rights context, the Covid 19 crisis has led to increased authoritarianism and has added a new layer to existing human rights and humanitarian issues. As political stability is a prerequisite for the growth and execution of environmental law, public discontent against governments will only delay and detract the environmental agenda. Overall, these two legs of analysis show how the pandemic has led to a retraction of environmental law. Coming out of the crisis, there are many lessons to be learnt. Interdisciplinary approaches that draw a human-ecological-health nexus may offer solutions in the Middle East as in the world. The Berlin Principles 2019 are a positive step in this direction which could pave the way for more ecosystemic and holistic environmental legal development.

Longobardo, Marco, 'The Duties of Occupying Powers in Relation to the Fight against COVID-19'
Abstract: Significant scholarship is investigating the array of international legal issues pertaining to the fight against COVID-19. This brief post aims at contributing to this debate by assessing the obligations upon occupying powers in this regard. Many sources have been reported that COVID-19 has reached occupied areas such as the OPT and Northern Cyprus. This post does not focus on the legality of the specific measures undertaken by some occupying powers, which will require more in-depth knowledge of facts and figures than the one currently available. Rather, it describes in wide brushstrokes the relevant legal framework to pave the way to future further analysis.

da Luz Scherf, Erick, Marcos Vinicius Viana da Silva and Janaina S. F., 'The Management (or Lack Thereof) of COVID-19 in Brazil: Implications for Human Rights and Public Health' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3609303, 24 May 2020)
Abstract: The objective of this article is to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has been managed in Brazil, especially through the analysis of the actions and inactions of the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro related to the complete denial of the global threat that the new coronavirus represents, seeking to demonstrate its major impacts on human rights and public health in the country. Our main conclusions were that: (i) since the election of Bolsonaro in 2018, Brazilian politics have been entrenched with a neoliberal spirit marked by illiberal notions that have compromised Brazil's democracy and rights regime; (ii) since 2016, the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS) has been subjected to a privatizing logic guided by market rules and exploitation of health as a source of profits, which represents a serious threat to the right to health in the country as a result of the first; (iii) by not making sufficient efforts to safeguard the lives of Brazilians or to strengthen public health institutions in the middle of the new coronavirus pandemic, the Brazilian State is violating the rights to life and health by omission; (iv) ultimately, it was demonstrated that Bolsonaro has worked unceasingly to bulldoze anti-COVID-19 efforts in Brazil and how it can be better explained through the concept of necropolitics.

Maguire, Amy and Donna McNamara, 'Human Rights and the Post-Pandemic Return to Classroom Education in Australia' (2020) 45(3) Alternative Law Journal 202-208
Abstract: This article identifies tensions between the human rights central to a return to classroom-based education during the COVID-19 pandemic. It notes the complexity of balancing rights to health, education and work for students, teachers and school staff, including for the most vulnerable in those groups. The authors argue that Australia would be well served by a comprehensive human rights framework to support difficult processes of balancing rights in tension.

Manrique De Lara, Amaranta and Maria De Jesus Medina Arellano, 'The COVID-19 Pandemic and Ethics in Mexico Through a Gender Lens' (2020) 17(4) Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 613-617
Abstract: In Mexico, significant ethical and social issues have been raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the most pressing issues are the extent of restrictive measures, the reciprocal duties to healthcare workers, the allocation of scarce resources, and the need for research. While policy and ethical frameworks are being developed to face these problems, the gender perspective has been largely overlooked in most of the issues at stake. Domestic violence is the most prevalent form of violence against women, which can be exacerbated during a pandemic: stress and economic uncertainty are triggers for abuse, and confinement limits access to support networks. Confinement also exacerbates the unfair distribution of unpaid labor, which is disproportionately assigned to women and girls, and highlights inequality in the overall labor market. Lack of security measures has resulted in attacks towards health workers, particularly female nurses, due to fear of contamination. Finally, resource results in lack of access to other health necessities, including sexual and reproductive health services. Research across all disciplines to face--and to learn from--this crisis should be done through a gender lens, because understanding the realities of women is essential to understand the pandemic's true effects in Mexico and the world.

Mapako, Kudakwashe, 'Proportionality of Fundamental Human Rights: A Reflection of Low Income Communities Vis-a-Vis Corona Virus Epidemic' (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3623079, 9 June 2020)
Abstract: Proportionality has been a pivotal pillar in upholding the Rule of Law and also providing limitations to human rights interference by States as a way of preserving Human Rights and establishing a balance. This article seeks to shed light and spark a discussion around the issue of Proportionality of Fundamental Human Rights in the wake of a global emergency/threat. By looking at measures of 'isolation and lockdown' that have been inserted by States around the globe to mitigate and deal with the Coronavirus epidemic. Thereby unpacking proportionality with consideration of the severity and effects it has waged to low-income communities. Thus a discussion whether the interference of fundamental human rights in low-income communities is justified to the objective, which has been identified as of sufficient importance.

Marsons, Lee and Sarah Nason, 'Equality and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' [2020] (October) Public Law 776-778
Abstract: Notes R. (on the application of Adiatu) v HM Treasury (DC) on whether the exclusion from eligibility for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and statutory sick pay of those without employment contracts but who fell to be treated as workers within the Employment Rights Act 1996 s.230(3)(b) was unlawfully discriminatory in breach of ECHR art.14 and Protocol 1 art.1 or the public sector equality duty under the Equality Act 2010 s.149.

Marsons, Lee and Sarah Nason, 'Human Rights' [2020] (October) Public Law 773-778
Abstract: Reviews human rights developments, including the rules permitting the 1 June 2020 reopening of schools, colleges and nurseries in specific circumstances, the May 2020 launch of the NHS Track and Trace Scheme, the impact of a rise in community transmission of COVID-19 on lockdown restrictions, and an inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission into how the coronavirus pandemic has affected ethnic minorities. Notes case law relating to litigants in person, eligibility for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and tenancies for housing benefit claimants.

Martin-Howard, Simone and JD Kyle Farmbry, 'Framing a Needed Discourse on Health Disparities and Social Inequities: Drawing Lessons from a Pandemic' (2020) 80(5) Public Administration Review 839-844
Abstract: COVID-19 provides numerous opportunities for policymakers to consider matters of social equity in relation to the field of public health. Specifically, by reflecting on health disparities in relation to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority and historically underserved populations, we can leverage a needed discourse on health outcomes for many communities. Grounded in the social determinants of health conceptual framework, this article explores the application of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations and communities of color for a discussion on strategies for minimizing health disparities.

Masselot, Annick and Maria Hayes, 'Exposing Gender Inequalities: Impacts of Covid-19 on Aotearoa | New Zealand Employment' (2020) 45(2) New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations (advance article, published 29 October 2020)
Abstract: This article outlines how the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbates economic and social gender inequalities in Aotearoa | New Zealand. While this crisis highlights the central part played by women in the economy, the gender impacts of the pandemic are visible in connection to a decrease in job security and financial safety for female workers; to a rise in the duplication of paid and unpaid work; to an increase violence in and outside of homes; a heightened risk exposure to the virus and worse health outcomes. Not all women are equally positioned in this crisis, women of Maori and Pacific descent are disproportionately feeling the effects of the pandemic. The two-prong, government's recovery plan, which only partially ensures a fair and equal economic rebuild, is critically assessed. While the economic response fails to take a systematic gender approach, scope for challenging traditional gender assumptions is met head-on in relation to policy on violence against women. The article considers flexible working options and focuses on options for reframing employment law in a post-pandemic environment with a view to achieve and deliver equality between men and women through an intersectional lens.

Matthew, Danya Bowen, 'Structural Inequality: The Real COVID-19 Threat to America's Health and How Strengthening the Affordable Care Act Can Help' (2020) 108(6) Georgetown Law Journal 1679-1716
Abstract: This Essay addresses two of the many lessons America must learn from the COVID-19 pandemic in order to survive. Both lessons are about structural inequality. The first is that structural inequality threatens the health of our entire population. The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the fallacy of imagining that inequality is only a problem for the marginalized among us. Although it is all too true that the pandemic has disproportionately ravaged poor neighborhoods as compared to wealthy ones, killed more blacks than it did whites, and afflicted the elderly more severely than the young, by attacking the most vulnerable, it crippled us all. The virus shut down at least one-quarter of the U.S. economy. No community was isolated from the dangers the disease that daily threatened the 'essential' workers who delivered groceries, stocked shelves, harvested fruit, drove buses, and provided healthcare for everyone in the nation. The threat of death and economic destruction touched all, though it was borne most heavily by a few. Indeed, this pandemic has taught that we will ignore the disproportionate devastation suffered by the least privileged among us to our collective peril. The second vital lesson is that structural racism is the greatest threat America now faces to our democracy. Structural racism may be defined as the brand of structural inequality fomented by unchecked racial discrimination in housing, education, the environment, and criminal justice, and other major societal institutions. I argue that the key to overcoming this dual public health threat lies in health providers, patients, and lawmakers uniting to dismantle structural racism. First, we must rectify systemic racial discrimination in housing, education, the environment, and radically reform the American criminal justice system. Systematic discrimination in each of these domains not only disproportionately disrupts access to the basic building blocks known as the social determinants of health, but it also fixes disadvantage in black and brown communities, while concomitantly fixing advantage in white communities. This fundamentally defeats the core American value of equal opportunity and justice for all. Moreover, structural racism forges racial isolation and segregation fomenting the fear, stigmatization, stereotyping, and resentment that makes democratic reform impossible, and unchecked violent reactions likely. The result is an irrepressible eruption of hatred and violence; we must give credence to the cry of activists who are filling streets around the world: America must now 'Know Justice, to know peace!' This essay calls upon lawmakers to reverse structural racism, beginning with equalizing access to high quality health care, that screens for and treats all inequities in the social determinants of health as medicine. I identify strengthening Section 1557 - the Health Care Civil Rights provision of the Affordable Care Act as a starting point. However that will not be enough. Beyond universalizing health care, we must universalize the example set for us by healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis. They have stood on the frontlines against a pandemic, to fight for the lives of all, especially the most vulnerable among us, putting their own lives at risk for the greater good. They have shown us what it means to regard all humanity as equally valuable before the Creator. I argue that it is time for lawmakers and the all of us to do the same.

May, James R and Erin Daly, 'Dignity Rights for a Pandemic' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3661019, 4 July 2020)
Abstract: Dignity under law can help in times of strife, including pandemic. Attempts to contain the infection has led to quarantine, global lockdowns, closed borders, dislocated families, shuttered businesses, emptied airlines, airports and other constituents of travel, and vast social distancing across all sectors of society. As of this writing, there is no vaccine or cure and treatments of dubious efficacy. Hospitals and healthcare systems and workers are overwhelmed if not overwrought. Plans for schools, restaurants, bars and businesses changes daily. Health workers are putting their lives on the line. Many of those infected are sitting ducks, cordoned in elderly care facilities, prisons and hospitals. Foreigners are blamed. Each and every pandemic-induced tremor and aftershock tests the bounds of human dignity as a value and as a right.The concept of human dignity means, quite simply, that every person has inherent equal worth. This incontrovertible but profound concept is derived from the body of dignity law that has developed since the end of World War II at the international, regional, national, and subnational levels, where dignity has become the central axis around which law rotates. Dignity recognizes that every member of the human family has worth that is equal, inherent and universal. Dignity is also law. Both the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) confirm the foundational place of the recognition of human dignity in the building of the new post-war world order. Advancing human dignity also is a central premise of the binding International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights, and virtually all subsequent instruments addressing human well-being. It is recognized in the constitutions of more than 160 countries, including all 49 constitutions adopted since 2003, as a fundamental value and/or as an actionable right. And, the 400,000 member strong American Bar Association recently recognized dignity as foundational to the rule of law. Courts around the globe have applied the right to dignity in thousands of cases involving abortion, assembly, death penalty, due process, education, the environment and climate change, equal protection and affirmative action, family law, gender and sexual identity, health care, immigration, incarceration, patents, professional ethics, religion, speech, torture, work, voting, and more.This chapter highlights the normative and legal dimensions of dignity, and how taking account of dignity under law can improve outcomes during a pandemic.

McClain, Linda and Naomi Cahn, 'Gendered Complications of Covid-19: Towards a Feminist Recovery Plan' (Boston University School of Law Public Law & Legal Theory Paper No 20-30, 1 September 2020)
Abstract: Gendered inequalities are on the frontlines of Covid-19. The catalogue of Covid-19's impact covers all aspects of women's lives: work, family, education, health, reproduction, mental and physical well-being, and leisure. The pandemic has exposed the limitations in the current economic system on public and private support for gender equity and the intersecting impact of gender, race, and class in that lack of support. Women of color, particularly Black, Latina, and Native American, are at the intersection of the inequities in the emerging stay-at-home economy. This Article argues that Covid-19 is likely to have complex implications for gender equality and gender equity as state and local governments, the federal government, and private actors focus on recovery plans. The negative impact includes hundreds of thousands of deaths, lingering health complications for many among the several million people who have already contracted the virus, massive economic disruption and loss for individuals, families, and communities and the exacerbation of structural inequalities. The creative policy responses prompted by the devastating impact of Covid-19 provide promise for building a more transformative and equitable future. Indeed, any roadmap to resilience is incomplete without addressing the gender inequities in our social infrastructure. Proposing a feminist recovery plan, this Article focuses on a set of issues relating to gender inequities concerning work and family, including the gender pay gap, the child care crisis, and the disproportionate role of women--particularly, women of color-- in providing essential but undervalued care work.

Meier, Benjamin Mason, Dabney P Evans and Alexandra Phelan, 'Rights-Based Approaches to Preventing, Detecting, and Responding to Infectious Disease' in Mark Eccleston-Turner and Iain Brassington (eds), Infectious Diseases in the New Millennium: Legal and Ethical Challenges (Springer, 2020)
Abstract: Human rights offer universal frameworks to advance justice in public health, codifying international standards to frame government obligations. Health-related human rights have evolved dramatically over the past thirty years to offer a normative framework for justice in preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious disease outbreaks. Where human rights were long neglected in international health debates, the advent of the HIV/AIDS pandemic response would operationalise human rights for public health, as advocates looked explicitly to human rights in framing public health efforts. In this period of heightened fear and emerging advocacy, policymakers first sought to implement human rights law in public health law--viewing discrimination as counterproductive to public health goals, abandoning coercive tools of public health, and applying human rights to focus on the individual risk behaviours leading to HIV transmission. By finding a link between public health and human rights, the health and human rights movement could move away from its early focus on the conflicts between public health goals and individual human rights, employing human rights to advance public health. However, infectious disease control efforts continue to challenge the notion that individual rights can best support population health. In the new millennium--from the 2005 revision of the International Health Regulations to the 2014 birth of the Global Health Security Agenda--policymakers have sought to balance infectious disease imperatives for the public's health with individual dignity protections in human rights. Yet, national public health efforts continue to employ mechanisms that infringe individual rights--from the recent Ebola epidemics in Sub-Saharan Africa to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that threatens the world--with public health laws violating individual bodily integrity through vaccination mandates, violating individual medical privacy through surveillance and reporting, and violating individual liberty through quarantine and isolation.

Michalowski, Sabine, 'The Use of Age as a Triage Criterion' in Carla Ferstman and Andrew Fagan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 93-100
Extract from Introduction: This contribution will address some of the ethical and human rights considerations that should inform the discussion of whether age can be regarded as a valid criterion to decide who receives life-saving treatment at a time of acute scarcity of medical resources, using the Covid-19 pandemic as a case study.

Milczarek-Desai, Shefali and Tara Sklar, 'The Return of Typhoid Mary? Immigrant Workers in Nursing Homes' [2021] Journal of Elder Policy (forthcoming)
Abstract: Nursing homes are dependent on immigrant, female labor as nursing aides, yet these workers are provided with minimal employment benefits, which has led to devastating consequences for vulnerable, older residents during COVID-19. Emerging research suggests that aides are contributors to the increase in coronavirus outbreaks due to working in multiple long-term care facilities and refer to these individuals as 'superspreaders.' Specifically, aides have been tied to unwittingly passing on the virus as they may be asymptomatic or pressured to work by employers while symptomatic with limited access to paid sick leave. The plight of these women harkens back to 'Typhoid Mary'--also a poor, immigrant woman who was accused of spreading typhoid fever a century ago. This Article applies lessons learned from Mary's shocking and tragic trajectory, then employs critical race and feminist jurisprudence to highlight examples of structural and institutional disparities that exist in current paid sick leave laws. Recommendations call for improved oversight in delivery of quality and safety in long-term care by addressing racial, gender, and economic inequalities through paid sick leave laws coupled with strong enforcement.

Miller, Romaine and Rachel Tsang, 'The Judiciary, Police Detention, and COVID-19. A Brief Review of Abridged Rights and Freedom in National Crises' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3593997, 6 May 2020)
Abstract: In this paper, the writers wish to prose [sic] their thoughts on questions surrounding Police Detention and the Judiciary's responsibility to uphold the rights and freedom of citizen [sic] in police custody during this on-going global COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst also examining how national emergencies extend state power and diminish fundamental rights.

Mizan, Arpeeta Shams, 'Invisible to the Law: COVID-19 and the Legal Consciousness of Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh' (2021) 8(1) Disability and the Global South 1892-1909
Abstract: Despite disability rights being recognized through formal legislation in Bangladesh, the rights of persons with disabilities are still not effectively ensured. State interventions during the pandemic have not sufficiently accommodated the rights of Persons with Disabilities. Pre-existing social prejudices have added to their plight. Due to social prejudice and myriad access to justice challenges, persons with disabilities in Bangladesh face negative attitudes when it comes to exercising their legal rights. The article uses primary data obtained through qualitative interviews and secondary sources to illustrate how the Covid19 pandemic has reinforced structural discriminations and increased the vulnerability of persons with disabilities.

Morales Antoniazzi, Mariela and Gabriela Cristina Braga Navarro, 'Tackling Inequality in Times of Pandemics: Right to Water in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights' (Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No 2020-30, 2020)
Abstract: This paper presents the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the Lhaka Honhat v. Argentina case, focusing on the Court's recognition of water as an autonomous right. The main argument is that the case is a milestone in the jurisprudence of the Court since for the first time it recognizes the direct justiciability of the right to water, offering a holistic approach to tackle inequalities and to provide means for overcoming marginalization. In the current context of COVID-19 pandemic, the decision becomes a paramount reference for judicial protection of vulnerable groups, proposing legal arguments for the guarantee of access to safe water. It is argued that the ruling has the potential to transcend the individual case and to enhance the transformative mandate of the IACtHR. The method used is bibliographic review, mostly based upon primary sources (judicial decisions). It relates to two theoretical backgrounds, the theory on intersectional discrimination and the ius constitutionale commune framework. The Court's decision and its victim-centred approach is discussed in light of the situation of poverty and multiplied vulnerability that indigenous peoples in Latin America face. Besides, it is contextualized with precedents of indirect recognition of social rights to indigenous peoples through the affirmation of the right to a dignified life. A comparative perspective gives insights into the decision's potential to transcend the individual case and, more specifically, to enforce the protection of indigenous rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, within the framework of a ius constitutionale commune, the Court is attributed a transformative mandate through which it can combat discrimination and promote structural change. The paper concludes stressing the importance of the recognition of intersectional discrimination in order to ensure access to safe water to indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups. It also highlights the significance of the recognition of direct justiciability of social rights in order to tackle inequalities in times of pandemic.

Morang'a, Emmaqulate K, 'COVID-19 and the State of Socio-Economic Rights in Kenya: Why We Must Take These Rights Seriously' (Afronomicslaw COVID-19 Symposium on International Economic Law in the Global South (May 2020), Symposium IV: Governance, Rights, and Institutions, 26 May 2020)
Extract: Due to lack of specific permanent measures to promote socio-economic rights, the capacity of the Government to cushion Kenyans against the economic harshness of COVID-19 is being put into test. Despite the government having formulated some measures especially in form of tax reliefs, basic needs of most vulnerable families are being met through donations from the corporate Kenya as philanthropy. For human dignity, in the bare minimum, a country's people should be able to meet their basic human needs, which include shelter and food. Also noting the Government's efforts through the Big 4 Agenda, the biggest question remains the executive's accountability in its implementation. As long as the hands of the judiciary on enforcement of socio-economic rights remain tied, socio-economic rights remain a dream for many Kenyans especially in times of disasters. If we are to take anything home from COVID-19, is that socio-economic rights are basic human needs and we must take them seriously.

Mulrenan, Stephen, 'China's Belt and Road Initiative Faces Major Challenges' (2020) 74(3) IBA Global Insight 26-33
Abstract: China's transformation from developing economy to powerhouse status ranks among the most dramatic stories of the 21st century, with the Belt and Road Initiative its latest chapter. But serious concerns over the government's treatment of the Uighurs and human rights, and the devastating outbreak of Covid-19, threaten to derail the country's ambitious project.

Mykhalovskiy, Eric et al, 'Human Rights, Public Health and COVID-19 in Canada' (2020) 111(6) Canadian Journal of Public Health 975-979
Abstract: Faced with the extraordinary global public health crisis of COVID-19, governments across Canada must decide, often with limited and imperfect evidence, how to implement measures to reduce its spread. Drawing on a health and human rights framework, this commentary explores several features of the Canadian response to date that raise human rights concerns. Our discussion focuses on criminal law, fines, data collection, and so-called snitch lines. We argue that the approach of governmental and public health authorities must be grounded in the best available scientific evidence and align with human rights standards. Our aim is to encourage dialogue within the public health community in Canada about the importance of human rights-based responses to COVID-19.

Nadkarni, Abhijit, Arjun Kapoor and Soumitra Pathare, 'COVID-19 and Forced Alcohol Abstinence in India: The Dilemmas around Ethics and Rights' (2020) 71(July-August) International Journal of Law and Psychiatry: Special Issue on Mental health, Mental Capacity, Ethics and the Law in the Context of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Article 101579
Abstract: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as with other countries across the world, the Central and State Governments of India initiated several measures to slow down the spread of the virus and to 'flatten the curve'. One such measure was a 'total lockdown' for several weeks across the country. A complex and unexpected outcome of the lockdown which has medical, ethical, economic, and social dimensions is related to alcohol consumption. The lockdown and consequent acute non-availability of alcohol resulted in people with alcohol dependence going into withdrawals, black marketing of alcohol, and in extreme cases suicide resulting from the alleged frustration of not having access to alcohol. The health dilemmas around this situation are biological (e.g. pushing people into risky situations-potentially fatal alcohol withdrawal, consumption of illicit or other non-consumable alcohol) and psychosocial (e.g. isolation increasing the risk of relapses, loss of control over the decision to abstain which can be detrimental to recovery, restriction of access to services for alcohol problems). The legal and rights-related dilemmas are centred around whether States have the right to impinge on individual autonomy on the grounds of public health, the capacity of the health systems to provide appropriate services to cope with those who will struggle with the unavailability of alcohol, the constitutionality of the Central government's impinging on jurisdiction of states under the guise of a health emergency caused by the pandemic, and the ability of the State to make unbiased decisions about this issue when it is highly dependent on the revenue from the sale of alcohol and associated industries. The way forward could be a pragmatic and utilitarian approach involving continued access to alcohol, while observing all physical distancing norms necessary during the pandemic, for those who want to continue drinking; and implementing innovative measures such as tele-counselling for those who wish not to return back to drinking.

Negi, Chitranjali, 'Human Rights Violations of Migrants Workers in India During COVID-19 Pandemic' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3629773, 17 June 2020)
Abstract: 'No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.'-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today, the important issue is how to save the human rights & dignity of migrant workers The problems of migrant workers have become very important in many developing countries of the world. Migration of labour started in India during the period of British colonial rule. The National Commission on Rural Labour in India (NCRL,1991) estimates more than 10 million circular migrants in the rural areas alone. These include an estimated 4.5 million interstate migrants and 6 million inter-state migrants in India. One of the reasons behind the Human Rights Violation of State Migrants workers in India are political and economic. State Migrants are outsiders in other State, they do not vote and thus cannot put governments under electoral pressure.On 24th March 2020, the Government of India ordered a nationwide lock down in India- starting midnight to stop the Corona virus from spreading in Country. Lock down in India has impacted millions of migrant's workers. Lack of food and basic amenities, loss of employment, fear of unknown and lack of social support were major reasons for struggle in this huge part of population. Due to the lock-down, more than three hundred deaths were reported, with reasons ranging from starvation, suicides, exhaustion, road and rail accidents, police brutality and denial of timely medical care. Eighty migrants died while travelling back home on the Shramik Special trains. Several incidents, viral videos of police misbehavior, brutality (beating with cane-charged) on migrant workers, have been reported from across the country.The Indian Judiciary has also not protected itself in glory by failing in its duty to protect the rights and dignity of migrant labour citing the ground of non-interference in policy. India is a founding member of the ILO and it has been a permanent member of the ILO Governing Body since 1922. India has ratified six out of the eight-core/fundamental ILO conventions. India has not ratified the two core fundamental conventions (Convention No 87,98). It is necessary to maintain important aspects of labour standards & labour rights (Migrants Rights) and aim of achieving a system where there are no barriers to the smooth process of the Rule of Law.

van Niekerk, Bouwer and Parveen Munga, 'COVID-19 and the Right to Freedom of Movement' (2020) 20(4) Without Prejudice 20-22
Abstract: Section 21 of our Constitution concerns the rights to freedom of movement and residence, in terms of which every person is guaranteed the right to freedom of movement and every citizen is guaranteed the right to enter, remain and reside anywhere in the Republic. The importance of the rights enshrined in s21 cannot be overstated. Its effect is to preclude the former policy of segregation and the severe restrictions imposed on the black populace. It, like many of the rights enshrined in our Constitution, also serves as a stark reminder of the conditions and status quo that warranted the inclusion of a right seemingly manifest. Remarkably, this section is not comprehensively dealt with in some of our most esteemed academic works dealing with our Constitutional Law. The reason for this is, in all likelihood, axiomatic - this right is so manifest that academic scholars have found neither the need nor the inclination to expand on it. There are also not (as of yet) any groundbreaking Constitutional Court judgments in our jurisprudence opining on this section, as this has never been seriously challenged in our young democracy. But now the national lockdown is infringing upon this very right; our personal movements are curtailed, which halts our ability to trade and disallows something as significant as attending funeral of a loved one. How is it that this right can be so fundamentally and so drastically impeded?

Njiri, Kenneth, 'Mental Health and Covid-19: The Right to Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3598916, 12 May 2020)
Abstract: The covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of people in the world. Kenya has not been left alone. As a result, jobs have been lost. Families are apart. There is panic and worry in the world. As a result, the mental health of persons is at risk. In my paper, I argue that there is need for the government of Kenya to safeguard the mental health of its citizens. Further, a multi-sectoral approach should be adopted in ensuring the mental wellness of the people.

Nomani, MZM, Zafar Hussain and Renu Dhawan, 'Judicial Policy for the Covid-19 Pandemic in Comparative Legal Perspective' (2021) 13(1) International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (advance article, published 1 January 2021)
Abstract: The right to health and equity is the paramount concern of the State, especially in times of epidemic and pandemic. The nationwide lockdown and COVID-19 has witnessed a series of judicial inte3rvention in health right and equity. Although there is a settled jurisprudence concerning health right and entitlement, the current streak of judicial innovation represents a novel discourse in the understanding of the public health administration and governance in India. An inquiry into the judicial policy of the epidemic-pandemic in the comparative jurisdiction seems fascinating in deepening our understanding of the state expediency and citizens liberty. The precedents in Gibbons v. Ogden, Louisiana State Board of Health Case, Jew Ho v. Williamson and Wong Wai v. Williamson deepens the understanding of the public health administration and governance. The rulings of Indian Supreme Court in Alakh Alok Srivastava v. Union of India, Shashank Deo Sudhi v. Union of India, suo motu cognizance of COVID-19 Testing and Sachin Jain v. Union of India also open a new vista of health right and justice in India.

Nwokeke, Chidera, 'A Perusal on COVID-19 and Rights of Patients' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3579257, 18 April 2020)
Abstract: A perusal on Covid-19 and the rights of patients in Nigeria. This article examines the position of our laws with regards to patients' rights and its enforceability in our Courts and the remedies available to a patient.

Nyamutata, Conrad, 'Do Civil Liberties Really Matter During Pandemics?: Approaches to Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19)' (2020) 9(1) International Human Rights Law Review 62-98
Abstract: The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (covid-19) in December 2019 precipitated public health control measures in many states across the world. The impact of covid-19 was as unprecedented as were the measures introduced by states to control it. The outbreak provides an opportunity to analyse responses of states to pandemics. At the core of this article is the question whether civil liberties matter during pandemics. A rights-based approach is founded on human rights protected in international human rights treaties. In cases of massive disease outbreaks, states adopt and enforce typically radical measures to contain the spread of the infection. After the outbreak of covid-19, a range of restrictions was imposed by the affected states. However, in the haste to contain a rapidly spreading pandemic, human rights are potentially vulnerable to violations. This article assesses the responses to the pandemic by states within the context of human rights. As the article seeks to illustrate, in times of pandemics, the law on management of pandemics does not favour human rights observance. Even states with deep-rooted democratic cultures resort to illiberal responses. The rhetoric of inalienability of rights becomes hollow as even traditional democratic states mimic authoritarian regimes.

Nyawa, Joshua Malidzo, 'Human Rights and Covid-19 (Corona Virus) in Kenya: Is the Law Silent?' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3587768, 28 April 2020)
Abstract: During times of pandemics, the law is not silent. Unlike the suggestion by Schmitt et al that there are times where there exists a state of exception, this paper argues that the constitution of Kenya does not permit such a scenario. Even in emergencies, the law applies. This paper looks at the measures and regulations adopted by the executive in a bid to address the Corona problem and tests them against the constitution of Kenya.

Oboirien, Katumi, 'The Act of Torture and Inhumane Treatment as Human Rights Violations during COVID-19 in Nigeria' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3688363, 7 September 2020)

Abstract: In December 2017, Nigeria signed into law the Anti-Torture Act 2017. This was done in acknowledgement of her obligations under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and its optional Protocol. Bearing in mind that there were existing laws which provided for torture, the Act was enacted to fill the gaps in the existing laws such as defining the term- torture and prescribing adequate punishment for the offenders. This article highlights some key provisions under the Act, laying particular emphasis on the duties of the State to protect its citizens from all forms of violations of their human rights. In this instance, we assert that the right to freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is a non-derogable right and law enforcement officers are duty-bound to respect this right in whatever situation, even in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Also portrayed in this article are some situational analysis of torture victims as well as court decisions on the matter. We conclude by restating some of the acts performed by law enforcement officers which constitute torture and proffer some recommendations.

O'Connor, Niall, 'The Right to Work and Rights in Work during the Coronavirus Pandemic: The Response of the United Kingdom' in Carla Ferstman and Andrew Fagan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 137-145

O'Grady, Selina, 'Black Death, HIV/AIDS and Coronavirus: Can We Do Better than Scapegoat or Tolerate?' [2020] (3) European Human Rights Law Review 211-214

Abstract: Compares the historical responses to the Black Death and the AIDS crisis with contemporary reactions to the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting the differing reactions of Christian and Muslim communities to the Black Death, including the European persecution of Jews. Assesses whether humanity is now moving beyond blame and tolerance towards a fuller recognition of human dignity and individual rights.

O'Neil, Meghan M, 'What Happens When a Pandemic Intersects an Epidemic?' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3587094, 23 April 2020)

Abstract: Persons experiencing addiction may be at very high risk of infectious disease like COVID-19 due to high rates of smoking, recent imprisonment, conditions like HIV/AIDS, and high-risk behaviors (Ezzati et al. 2002; Farhoudian, et. al. 2020). During the COVID-19 pandemic, most courts have shuttered, and treatment center admissions have halted, yet the opioid crisis rages on. America's opioid epidemic may have just become more lethal and socially costly.

Oreffice, Sonia and Climent Quintana-Domeque, 'Gender Inequality in Covid-19 Times: Evidence from UK Prolific Participants' (IZA Discussion Paper No 13463, 14 July 2020)

Abstract: We investigate gender differences across socioeconomic and wellbeing dimensions after three months of lockdown in the UK, using an online sample of approximately 1,500 respondents in Prolific, representative of the UK population with regards to age, sex and ethnicity. We find that women's mental health is worse than men's along the four metrics we collected data on, that women are more concerned about getting and spreading the virus, and that women perceive the virus as more prevalent and lethal than men do. Women are also more likely to expect a new lockdown or virus outbreak by the end of 2020, and are more pessimistic about the current and future state of the UK economy, as measured by their forecasted present and future unemployment rates. Consistent with their more pessimistic views about the economy, women choose to donate more to food banks. Women are more likely to have lost their job because of the pandemic, and working women are more likely to hold more coronavirus-risky jobs than men. We also find that between February and June 2020 women have decreased their work hours, but increased housework and childcare much more than men. These gender inequalities are not driven by differences in age, ethnicity, education, family structure, income in 2019, current employment status, place of residence or living in rural/urban areas.

O'Sullivan, Charles, 'Against Ideology? Examining Social Rights in Ireland during Times of Crisis' (2020) 20(1S) BioLaw Journal - Rivista di BioDiritto 715-721

Note: this special issue contains many relevant articles, but almost all are in Italian only, and we have only included those in English in this bibliography. Link to the entire journal issue. Introduction: The onset of the CoViD -19 pandemic has raised significant questions from not only a public health dimension in attempting to stem the spread of the virus, but also from a social rights perspective, and attempting to deal with the social and economic realities of the fallout from the same. With this in mind, this brief contribution seeks to examine the specific response by the executive in the Republic of Ireland from March 2020 onwards and tease out how it has sought to ameliorate a crisis such as this through redistributive social policies, and the reinforcement and development of social rights. In particular, it underlines how certain social rights-based policies during this time differ from the ideological policies and institutional attitudes prior to this time. In doing so, it aims to underline the degree to which the Irish executive has, on the one hand, signalled a clear break from previous longstanding policies, and on the other, how it might fail to address other long-standing issues. It will be structured as follows. Following this brief introduction, Section Two will examine the general response to the CoViD -19 pandemic through the creation of one new targeted payment and the opening up of others. A third section will then highlight the specific issues related to asylum seekers, the material reception conditions within which they are house and access to the so-called CoViD -19 emergency payment. It will end with some brief concluding remarks.

Oswald, Marion and Jamie Grace, 'The COVID-19 Contact Tracing App In England and "Experimental Proportionality"' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3632870, 18 June 2020)

Abstract: In this analysis, we review the history of the contact tracing app developed by England's National Health Service and the differences of opinion over so-called 'centralised' and 'decentralised' technical approaches. The focus on data protection concerns has drawn attention away from more expansive human rights considerations, and we argue that human rights law should guide our assessment of the legal implications of a decision to deploy a contact tracing app. Acknowledging the uncertain situation presented by the coronavirus pandemic, we revisit our 'experimental proportionality' model first described in 2018. We demonstrate that, combined with a robust and rolling oversight function, this model of proportionality review could assist in upholding a fair balance between the rights of the individual and the interests of the community in situations of uncertainty and crisis.

Parmet, Wendy E et al, 'COVID-19: The Promise and Failure of Law in an Inequitable Nation' (2021) 111(1) American Journal of Public Health 47-49

Parsons, Jordan A and Harleen Kaur Johal, 'Best Interests versus Resource Allocation: Could COVID-19 Cloud Decision-Making for the Cognitively Impaired?' (2020) 46(7) Journal of Medical Ethics 447-450

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is putting the NHS under unprecedented pressure, requiring clinicians to make uncomfortable decisions they would not ordinarily face. These decisions revolve primarily around intensive care and whether a patient should undergo invasive ventilation. Certain vulnerable populations have featured in the media as falling victim to an increasingly utilitarian response to the pandemic--primarily those of advanced years or with serious existing health conditions. Another vulnerable population potentially at risk is those who lack the capacity to make their own care decisions. Owing to the pandemic, there are increased practical and normative challenges to following the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Both capacity assessments and best interests decisions may prove more difficult in the current situation. This may create a more paternalistic situation in decisions about the care of the cognitively impaired which is at risk of taking on a utilitarian focus. We look to these issues and consider whether there is a risk of patients who lack capacity to make their own care decisions being short-changed.

Pelloso, Alexandre Castilho et al, 'Facing the COVID-19 Pandemic: From Health to the Law' (2020) 9(11) Research, Society and Development e81791110446-e81791110446

Abstract: This study analyzed the knowledge of medical and law students about the restrictive measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic and the implications in the fundamental rights of the individuals. A google forms questionnaire was prepared and sent by WhatsApp to medical students and law students. The survey included questions about social isolation and if it violates or not the citizens' and humans' rights. Descriptive statistics were performed, and comparisons between medical and law students were made with chi-square and independent t-tests. A higher percentage of medical students were taken precautionary measures than law students. Internet and TV are the most used to stay up to date. Most medical and law students believed that the restrictive measure of social isolation violates the rights guaranteed to citizens. However, the majority of them believed that the citizens' rights to life and health should prevail over the citizens' right to come and go.

Pendo, Elizabeth, 'Protecting the Rights of People with Disabilities' in Scott Burris et al (eds), Assessing Legal Responses to COVID-19 (Public Health Law Watch, 2020) 248-251

Abstract: One in four Americans -- a diverse group of 61 million people -- experience some form of disability (Okoro, 2018). On average, people with disabilities experience significant disparities in education, employment, poverty, access to health care, food security, housing, transportation, and exposure to crime and domestic violence (Pendo & Iezzoni, 2019). Intersections with demographic characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, and LGBT status, may intensify certain inequities. For example, women with disability experience greater disparities in income, education, and employment (Nosek, 2016), and members of underserved racial and ethnic groups with disabilities experience greater disparities in health status and access to health care (Yee, et. al, 2016). These longstanding inequities are compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and by governmental and private responses that discriminate on the basis of disability. Legal protections of people with disabilities are governed by two key federal laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act ('Section 504' or 'Rehabilitation Act'). Together, these laws ensure that people with disabilities have equal opportunities in employment, in state and local services and programs, and to goods and services. The broad reach of these laws impact a host of issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. Enforcing agencies have provided COVID-19-specific guidance on the application of the laws in health care and in employment. However, gaps in protections as well as widespread lack of knowledge of and noncompliance with the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act limit their impact. Recommendations include: continued enforcement of the laws; clear and current agency guidance on how to comply with the laws; education about the requirements of the laws, especially in health care settings; and improved data collection and reporting.

Pendo, Elizabeth, Robert Gatter and Seema Mohapatra, 'Resolving Tensions Between Disability Rights Law and COVID-19 Mask Policies' (Saint Louis University Legal Studies Research Paper No 2020-10, 2020)

Abstract: As states reopen, an increasing number of state and local officials are requiring people to wear face masks while out of the home. Grocery stores, retail outlets, restaurants and other businesses are also announcing their own mask policies, which may differ from public policies. Public health measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus such as wearing masks have the potential to greatly benefit millions of Americans with disabilities, who are particularly vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19. But certain disabilities may make it difficult or inadvisable to wear a mask. Mask-wearing has become a political flashpoint, putting people with disabilities at risk. There are reports emerging that people with disabilities have been challenged, excluded from retail establishments, and even threatened with arrest for not wearing masks. Some anti-mask activists encourage their followers to falsely represent themselves as disabled to confound mask requirements, which has the potential to amplify skepticism and mistrust of people with non-obvious disabilities. Reports of violent conflict over mask-wearing add to these tensions. The first lawsuit challenging a mask requirement under federal disability rights law was filed in late May, and more are likely to follow. Federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and require appropriate modification of public and private mask-wearing policies to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities. These laws, like other civil rights statutes, remain in force during the pandemic and should operate as a check against any discrimination that might result from a mask requirement. However, misunderstanding of and noncompliance with these laws limits their effectiveness. This article provides the first expert analysis of the federal disability law framework that applies to mask policies issued by state and local officials, as well as by stores, restaurants and other businesses that serve the public, and the often confusing interaction between public and private policies. It argues that contrary to some popular assumptions, mask policies can be employed in a manner consistent with the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. Finally, it offers specific recommendations for the design and implementation of mask policies in manner that accommodates both the rights of people with disabilities and developing scientific knowledge of efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Persad, Govind, 'Why Disability Law Permits Evidence-Based Triage in a Pandemic' (2020) 130 Yale Law Journal Forum 26

Abstract: This paper explains why the two core goals of policies proposed or adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that allocate scarce medical resources by using medical evidence--saving more lives and saving more years of life--are compatible with disability law. Disability law, properly understood, permits considering medical evidence about patients' probability of surviving treatment and the quantity of scarce treatments they will likely use. It also permits prioritizing health workers, and considering patients' post-treatment life expectancy. All of these factors, when assessed based on medical evidence and not inaccurate stereotypes, are legal to consider even if they disadvantage some patients with specific disabilities. It then discusses why triage policies that use medical evidence to save more lives and years of life, which I call 'evidence-based triage,' are ethically preferable for people with and without disabilities. In doing so, I explain why recent critiques err by treating people with disabilities as a monolith, overlooking the political disadvantages of less-visible victims, and treating the social origins of scarcity as a justification for sacrificing vulnerable lives. Evidence-based triage should be recognized as similar to other responses to COVID-19, like physical distancing and postponing some medical procedures, that may burden people with specific disabilities but are nevertheless justified because they save more patients with and without disabilities.

Pham, Cong S and Devashish Mitra, 'The Color of Coronavirus' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3757854, 31 December 2020) < https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=3757854 >

Abstract: This study first documents robust evidence that the COVID-19 death ratio and infection ratio are positively associated with income inequality, higher non-White/White residential segregation index, and higher percentage of adults aged 65 and below without health insurance. Second, death and infection ratios also increase with the share of ethnic non-White minorities in a county's population, possibly representing the racial bias of policy, law, governance, and culture that disadvantages ethnic minorities, leading to structural health inequalities. Finally, our results are consistent with a significant spatial-spillover effect of the novel coronavirus and the previously documented characteristics of COVID-19 decedents and patients.

Pollack, Harold A, 'Disaster Preparedness and Social Justice in a Public Health Emergency' (2020) 45(6) Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 907-920

Abstract: The United States is now experiencing public health catastrophe on a scale not seen for more than a century. COVID-19 puts into stark relief the mutual obligations that reflect interdependence among participants in a common society. Drawing on the work of Amartya Sen concerning famine and related challenges, the author discusses the accompanying implications for social justice. Social justice in catastrophe requires strong social insurance structures and legal protections for the most vulnerable people, who would otherwise lack economic resources and political influence to protect their essential interests. Social justice also requires greater and more sustained attention to disaster preparedness and public health infrastructure--both of which are characteristically neglected, in part because the public health enterprise is identified with politically weak and often stigmatized populations.

Pollard, Matt, Mathilde Laronche and Vivian Grande, 'The Courts and Coronavirus (Part 1)' in Barrie Sander and Jason Rudall (eds), Opinio Juris Symposium on COVID-19 and International Law (2020)

Abstract: Our contribution (in two parts) will consider the specific context of restrictions on access to or operation of courts. Around the world, in response to COVID-19, courts are adopting different modalities for the hearing of matters and limiting the range of matters than can be brought before them to only the most 'urgent', while postponing all others. The first post sets out the most relevant provisions on the role of courts in international human rights law, including in situations of emergency. The second look in more detail at specific issues, including the suspension of 'non-urgent' cases, changes in the modality of hearings, dealing with the consequences of postponement of cases, and risk-tolerance and the fundamental role of judges.

Pollard, Matt, Mathilde Laronche and Vivian Grande, 'The Courts and Coronavirus (Part 2)' in Barrie Sander and Jason Rudall (eds), Opinio Juris Symposium on COVID-19 and International Law (2020)

Abstract: Our contribution (in two parts) will consider the specific context of restrictions on access to or operation of courts. Around the world, in response to COVID-19, courts are adopting different modalities for the hearing of matters and limiting the range of matters than can be brought before them to only the most 'urgent', while postponing all others. The first post sets out the most relevant provisions on the role of courts in international human rights law, including in situations of emergency. The second look in more detail at specific issues, including the suspension of 'non-urgent' cases, changes in the modality of hearings, dealing with the consequences of postponement of cases, and risk-tolerance and the fundamental role of judges.

Powell, Catherine, 'Color of Covid and Gender of Covid: Essential Workers, Not Disposable People' (2021) 32(2) Yale Journal of Law and Feminism (forthcoming)

Abstract: We live in a moment of interconnected pandemics. The COVID-19 crisis provides a window into the underlying pandemics of inequality, economic insecurity, and injustice. The viruses of sexism, racism, and economic instability are the pre-existing conditions of an unjust legal system -- baked into our nation at the Founding in the shadow of chattel slavery, female disenfranchisement, property requirements for voting rights, and dispossession of Native Americans. COVID-19 has not recreated these conditions, but instead has amplified the persisting inequalities upon which the nation was built. At the same time, the current viral moment reveals that we all share common vulnerabilities, making a vulnerability analysis particularly timely in gaining support for solutions. As commentators have observed, 'COVID-19 doesn't discriminate[, but] America does.' Even while unmasking deeply embedded structural inequalities, this moment of interlinked pandemics of disease, economic insecurity, and violence affects us all and has torn at the very fabric of the social contract we owe to each other and, in fact, depend on. I propose a new concept, 'viral convergence,' to both analyze this moment of interlinked crises and to utilize this moment, in which our share vulnerabilities are so clear, to theorize a way forward. The road ahead calls for legal paradigms that recognize both the need for universal and more targeted solutions. As Arundhati Roy suggests, we must both acknowledge the tragedy while also utilizing this crisis for transformational change by viewing the COVID-19 pandemic as a 'portal' to a more just and equal world.

Pugh, Jonathan, 'The United Kingdom's Coronavirus Act, Deprivations of Liberty, and The Right to Liberty and Security of the Person' 7(1) Journal of Law and the Biosciences Article lsaa011

Abstract: In response to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic the UK government has passed the Coronavirus Act 2020 (CA). Among other things, this act extends existing statutory powers to impose restrictions of liberty for public health purposes. The extension of such powers naturally raises concerns about whether their use will be compatible with human rights law. In particular, it is unclear whether their use will fall within the public heath exception to the Article 5 right to liberty and security of the person in the European Convention of Human Rights. In this paper, I outline key features of the CA, and briefly consider how the European Court of Human Rights has interpreted the public health exception to Article 5 rights. This analysis suggests two grounds on which restrictions of liberty enforced some under the CA might be vulnerable to claims of Article 5 rights violations. First, the absence of specified time limits on certain restrictions of liberty means that they may fail the requirement of legal certainty championed by the European Court in its interpretation of the public health exception. Second, the Coronavirus Act's extension of powers to individuals lacking public health expertise may undermine the extent to which the act will ensure that deprivations of liberty are necessary and proportionate.

Puras, Dainius et al, 'The Right to Health Must Guide Responses to COVID-19' (2020) 395(10241) The Lancet 1888-1890
Abstract: Human rights scrutiny in the COVID-19 pandemic has largely focused on limitations of individual freedoms to protect public health, yet it is essential to look at the broader relevance of realising human rights to promote public health in the COVID-19 response.

Rau, Sabrina, 'With Great Reliance Comes Great Responsibility: The Role of Technology Companies during Covid-19' in Carla Ferstman and Andrew Fagan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 277-286
Abstract: Technology companies have been playing a key role during Covid-19 from assisting state responses to improving quality of life during lockdown. These companies are providing means of communication, work, education, social and cultural life that would otherwise be impossible. As tech companies are now playing an essential facilitating role in enabling human rights in this way, a key question emerges: Should tech companies facilitating essential services bear special responsibilities? This paper argues that tech company obligations are heightened to the extent that the means through which they meet their due diligence obligations are amplified. This will be demonstrated by first illustrating the unique role that tech companies are playing during Covid-19, and second, examining whether special obligations should apply to those companies that are facilitating essential services. Third, this paper will recommend practical steps in the form of three types of human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) that companies should carry out as a starting point to understanding how they can meet their responsibility to respect human rights.

Reid, Blake E, Christian Vogler and Zainab Alkebsi, 'Telehealth and Telework Accessibility in a Pandemic-Induced Virtual World' (University of Colorado Legal Studies Research Paper No 20-44, 14 July 2020)
Abstract: This short essay explores one dimension of disability law's COVID-related 'frailty': how the pandemic has undermined equal access to employment and healthcare for Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing as healthcare and employment migrate toward telehealth and telework activities. This essay's authors--a clinical law professor; a computer scientist whose research focuses on accessible technology; and a deaf policy attorney for the nation's premier civil rights organization of, by, and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States--have collaborated over the past months on detailed advocacy documents aimed at helping deaf and hard of hearing patients and employers navigate the complex new circumstances of telehealth and telework. The essay presents a brief survey of some of the difficult issues the authors have encountered in trying to navigate the legal and technical dimensions of healthcare and workplace accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing Americans in a pandemic-induced virtual world.

Reny, Tyler T and Matt A Barreto, 'Xenophobia in the Time of Pandemic: Othering, Anti-Asian Attitudes, and COVID-19' [2020] Politics, Groups, and Identities (advance article, published 28 May 2020)
Abstract: As the number of COVID-19 cases rose in the US and around the world in early 2020, conservative elites in the US racialized the pandemic, referring to the coronavirus as the 'Chinese flu' or the 'Wuhan virus.' Existing research suggests that this linking of the viral pandemic to a social group will 'activate' anti-Asian attitudes in the mass public, helping bring those attitudes to bear on behaviors and attitudes related to COVID-19. Despite anecdotal evidence of a spike in discriminatory behavior targeted at Asians across western countries, little empirical evidence for this 'othering' hypothesis exists. Using a large survey (n = 4311) benchmarked to national demographics, we analyze the relationship between attitudes toward Asian Americans, xenophobia, concern about contracting the coronavirus, and a variety of behavioral outcomes and policy attitudes. We find evidence that anti-Asian attitudes are associated with concern about the virus but also with xenophobic behaviors and policy preferences. These relationships are unique to Asian American attitudes, are not related to attitudes toward other outgroups, and do not hold for a variety of placebo outcomes. Together our findings suggest that anti-Asian attitudes were activated and were associated with a variety of COVID-19 attitudes and behaviors in the early stages of the pandemic.

Rethman, Petra, 'COVID-19: Urgent Reflections' (Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, Globalization Working Paper No 20/1, 2020)
This edited paper contains the following contributions: * Cal Biruk, 'Our bodies, our containers: Cultural concepts of the body and health in Covid-19 times' 4-8 * Kelsey Leonard, 'Indigenous water (in)justice and the COVID-19 pandemic' 9-12 * Elene Lam, Vincent Wong, and Macdonald Scott, 'Covid-19, policing, and the exacerbation of pre-existing inequalities' 13-16 * Alpha Abebe, 'COVID-19 and the Black and African diaspora' 17-20 * Amber Dean, 'Public mourning in socially distant times: We still need to ask, "Whose Lives Matter?"' 21-24 * Tina Moffat, 'COVID-19 and reflections on pandemics in the recent past' 25-26 * Kee Yong, 'If the others could speak: Uncharted territory 27-28 * Catherine Frost, 'Thinking the unthinkable: The riddle of Covid-19' 29-31

Ricca, Mario, 'Don't Uncover That Face! Covid-19 Masks and the Niqab: Ironic Transfigurations of the ECtHR 's Intercultural Blindness' [2020] International Journal for the Semiotics of Law (advance article, published 30 April 2020)
Abstract: This essay, between serious and facetious, addresses an apparently secondary implication of the planetary tragedy produced by Covid-19. It coincides with the 'problem of the veil,' a bone of contention in Islam/West relationships. More specifically, it will address the question of why the pandemic has changed the proxemics of public spaces and the grammar of 'living together.' For some time--and it is not possible to foresee how much--in many countries people cannot go out, or enter any public places, without wearing a sanitary mask. In short, almost all of us, by obligation or by urgent advice from the public authorities of the various countries, will not live the public sphere with our faces uncovered. The alteration of the social context affecting many Western countries will inevitably involve also the 'local' perception of the Islamic veil and--as a matter of equality--the consistency of the prohibition of wearing it. What will thus become of the ban on wearing it in public places established by some countries such as France and asseverated by the ECHR? If everyone can and will have to go around with their faces covered, why should only Islamic women be discriminated against? Will not the change in boundary conditions produced by Covid-19 also induce Western people to re-categorize the meaning of the veil? And will this re-categorization not directly affect the 'fact' of wearing the veil, that is, its empirical perception? And still, will this psycho-semantic change not show how empirical perceptions are cultural constructs rather than 'objective facts,' as such allegedly independent from the observer's point of view? Consequentially, will the plurality of perceptions and cultural meanings related to the gesture of covering one's own face not gain renewed relevance in determining the legitimacy of wearing the veil? The socio-semantic earthquake produced by Covid-19 compels us to rethink this and other issues orbiting around the translation of 'facts' into legal language; furthermore, it highlights the instrumentality of many ideological/partisan and ethnocentric assumptions passed off as objectivity regarding those alleged 'facts.' The essay will attempt to provide an answer to the above questions by proposing a semiotic-legal approach to intercultural conflicts and, indirectly, the pluralism in law.

Richardson, Eric and Colleen Devine, 'Emergencies End Eventually: How to Better Analyze Human Rights Restrictions Sparked by the COVID-19 Pandemic Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights' (2020) 42 Michigan Journal of International Law (forthcoming)
Abstract: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, states have been quick to adopt emergency measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. However, poorly constructed restrictions threaten to undermine hard won human rights protections and may in fact erode important elements of international human rights law as a result of overreaching implementation or lack of rigorous analysis in how the restrictions are put, and kept, in place. This article analyzes the International Convent on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) standards which apply to emergency regulation in times of public health crisis and the tangled morass of legal tests which have been used to balance human rights and emergency restrictions. We argue that in the current pandemic, human rights are best protected when states act under the Article 4 derogation mechanism to put emergency measures in place because it provides opportunities for oversight ensuring the end of emergency restrictions after the crisis subsides and provides certainty as to how states are justifying their emergency measures under the treaty regime. Given that so few states have provided notice of derogation under the ICCPR, this Article also considers what a rigorous analysis would look like when restricting freedom of movement, privacy, and freedom of assembly using the limitation language found in each article, suggesting best practices for better balancing COVID-19-related emergency measures with human rights.

Roberto, Katherine J, Andrew F Johnson and Beth M Rauhaus, 'Stigmatization and Prejudice during the COVID-19 Pandemic' (2020) 42(3) Administrative Theory & Praxis 364-378
Abstract: In the months since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has overwhelmed the world, numerous popular press articles have recounted cases of mistreatment toward others rooted in traits associated with the illness. These accounts are the latest repercussion of a long running 'otherness' that Western society has attributed to Asian peoples. This article draws on existing theory to better understand how social stigmas and subsequently prejudice may present additional challenges as nations grapple with restrictions on individuals' movement and move to more normal social interaction. A discussion of COVID-19 in the context of stigmatization, social identity, and social cognition theories offer a means to better understand how those impacted and stereotyped by the virus may also experience negative treatment by others.

Savage, Audra, 'COVID-1619: A Brief History of Racism' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3671093, 10 August 2020)
Abstract: Racism is the use of Black people to achieve the goals of white people without regard to the personhood, humanity, and agency of Blacks. This essay explores this definition of racism by tracing the influence of the twin institutions of law and religion in creating and maintaining the slave system in early colonial America. The essay then demonstrates the pernicious and persistent nature of racism by mapping this definition onto the current COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on Black Americans.

Savaresi, Annalisa, 'Enforcing the Right to a Healthy Environment in the Climate Emergency: A View from Above' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3722080, 30 October 2020)
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into the spotlight the links between measures to tackle air pollution, protect human rights and address climate change. This article therefore scrutinises the extent to which the right to a healthy environment has been invoked in the growing body of human rights-based climate litigation in general, and to demand the enforcement of air quality standards in particular. By looking at the limited precedents that have occurred to date, the article offers some reflections on what the future may hold for this specific strand of litigation in the aftermath of the pandemic. It concludes that, where it is recognised, the right to a clean environment provides a precious ammunition to deliver greater climate accountability and better enforcement of air quality standards.

Scheinin, Martin, 'To Derogate or Not to Derogate?' in Barrie Sander and Jason Rudall (eds), Opinio Juris Symposium on COVID-19 and International Law (2020)
Extract from Introduction: in addition to permissible restrictions (or limitations) upon human rights, applicable in perfectly normal situations, some human rights treaties also allow for the more far-reaching option of a State to derogate from some of its obligations during a situation of grave crisis. This applies to the subset of other than so-called non-derogable rights under the UN-level International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, see article 4) and two of the regional human rights treaties, the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR, see article 27) and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR, see article 15).

Sekalala, Sharifah et al and Ma 02115 +1495-1000, 'Analyzing the Human Rights Impact of Increased Digital Public Health Surveillance during the COVID-19 Crisis' (2020) 22(2) Health and Human Rights Journal 7-20
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has led policy makers to expand traditional public health surveillance to take advantage of new technologies, such as tracking apps, to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This article explores the human rights dimensions of how these new surveillance technologies are being used and assesses the extent to which they entail legitimate restrictions to a range of human rights, including the rights to health, life, and privacy. We argue that human rights offer a crucial framework for protecting the public from regulatory overreach by ensuring that digital health surveillance does not undermine fundamental features of democratic society. First, we describe the surveillance technologies being used to address COVID-19 and reposition these technologies within the evolution of public health surveillance tools and the emergence of discussions concerning the compatibility of such tools with human rights. We then evaluate the potential human rights implications of the surveillance tools being used today by analyzing the extent to which they pass the tests of necessity and proportionality enshrined in international human rights law. We conclude by recommending ways in which the harmful human rights effects associated with these technologies might be reduced and public trust in their use enhanced.

Sheikh, Asim A, 'COVID-19: A Brave New Medico-Legal World?' (2020) 26(1) Medico-Legal Journal of Ireland 2

Abstract: Reflects on the medico-legal issues raised by the coronavirus pandemic. Notes provisions of the Irish Health (Preservation and Protection and Other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020 restricting individual freedoms and protecting the especially vulnerable.

Sheldon, Tess and Ravi Malhotra, 'Not All in This Together: Disability Rights and COVID-19' in Colleen M Flood et al (eds), Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19 (University of Ottawa Press, 2020) 419

Abstract: Persons with disabilities are significantly and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In this paper, we address the accessibility of emergency preparedness and the failure of governments to consistently include people with disabilities in their response strategies, even when statutes mandate inclusions and accessibility. In particular, persons with disabilities have not consistently been included in COVID-19 communication strategies, and may encounter barriers to accessing vital information and advice about the pandemic. We also highlight the implications of the economic marginalization of people with disabilities during a pandemic. The economic disruption caused by COVID-19 particularly undermines the income security of persons with disabilities. People with disabilities largely live in poverty and yet their concerns have largely been ignored by pandemic stimulus funding. Finally, we explore how institutionalization in this brave new world has grave consequences for people with disabilities. The institutions, where many people with disabilities live, are quickly becoming epicentres of SARS-Cov-2 transmission. COVID-19 calls into question the utility of their confinement in general terms and magnifies the concerns that pre-existed the pandemic.

Sherman, John, 'The Contractual Balance Between 'Can I?' and "Should I?" Mapping the ABA's Model Supply Chain Contract Clauses to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights' (Harvard Kennedy School, Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative Working Paper No 73, 2020)

Abstract: This paper examines the efforts of the American Bar Association to draft proposed Model Contract Clauses for businesses that prohibit modern slavery and child labor in supply chain contracts. This involves a careful balancing of a buyer's desire to avoid consuming goods manufactured with human rights abuse and its desire to protect itself legally, in order to ensure that the company is acting in alignment with its responsibility to respect universally recognized human rights under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This subject is quite timely in light of the current efforts of many companies, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to exercise force majeure clauses in their contracts to dump suppliers without regard to the impacts of vulnerable workers in their supply chains.

Shrestha, Rijen, Kewal Krishan and Tanuj Kanchan, 'Dignity and Rights of the Dead and Their Families: A Compromise in the Time of Coronavirus Disease 2019' [2020] Medicine, Science and the Law (advance online article, published 29 July 2020)

Abstract: The biological aspects and economic impact of coronavirus disease 2019 have been extensively discussed in the literature. However the social, cultural and legal aspects of the pandemic, especially regarding the dignity and rights of the deceased and their families - have so far received little attention. This communication discusses restrictions and violations of the rights of the deceased and their families and their privileges to carry out funerary practices and rituals during the pandemic caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

Sirleaf, Matiangai, 'COVID-19 and the Racialization of Diseases (Part I)' in Barrie Sander and Jason Rudall (eds), Opinio Juris Symposium on COVID-19 and International Law (2020)

Extract from Introduction: This post connects the racialization of COVID-19 to the historical narratives and interventions premised on the suspicion of diseased and uncontrolled racialized bodies coming to infect those in the West. I explore the significance of this legacy for global heath in more detail in Part II.

Sirleaf, Matiangai, 'COVID-19 and the Racialization of Diseases (Part II)' in Barrie Sander and Jason Rudall (eds), Opinio Juris Symposium on COVID-19 and International Law (2020)

Extract from Introduction: Part I of this post details how European powers enacted treaties that prioritized diseases considered most relevant to protecting Western colonial interests. It helps to elucidate how the racialization of diseases and their valuation informed the emergence of the global health regime and highlights how the development of this regime often depended on the coercive power of the colonial administrative state to implement public health measures. This post analyzes how the racialization of diseases is accomplished more subtly and indirectly under the current global health architecture.

Skolnik, Terry, 'The Punitive Impact of Physical Distancing Laws on Homeless People' in Colleen M Flood et al (eds), Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19 (University of Ottawa Press, 2020) 287

Abstract: One of the hallmarks of COVID-19 is that it disproportionately impacts vulnerable individuals and groups. The State's punitive legal responses to the pandemic are no different. This chapter shows why coercive physical distancing laws disparately impact homeless people. It argues that harsh financial penalties for violating these laws can constitute cruel and unusual punishments that contravene s. 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It challenges prevailing s. 12 Charter jurisprudence and demonstrates why expensive fines amount to cruel and unusual punishments even when judges have discretion to modify their severity. After situating the regulation of homelessness within its historical context, it concludes by setting out why homeless people are uniquely vulnerable to over-policing. Ultimately, this chapter elucidates why a public health approach to both COVID-19 and homelessness are necessary and why neither can be punished out of existence.

Spadaro, Alessandra, 'COVID-19: Testing the Limits of Human Rights' (2020) 11(2) European Journal of Risk Regulation Special Issue-'Taming COVID-19 by Regulation' 317-325

Abstract: Extract from Introduction: ... this article starts by explaining why the taking of measures to contain the pandemic is warranted under human rights law. The article shows that, at the same time, some measures can have a detrimental effect on the enjoyment of a number of human rights. With a focus on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the article then proceeds to analyse the conditions under which States may legitimately interfere with certain human rights through either limitations or derogations and highlights some areas of concern in this respect. It concludes that while the curtailment of certain freedoms might be temporarily necessary to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, such curtailment should be carefully limited and constantly monitored so as to avoid abuses.

Stevenson-McCabe, Seonaid, 'Protecting Those Small Places' (2020) 65(6) Journal of the Law Society of Scotland 18-19 < https://www.lawscot.org.uk/members/journal/issues/vol-65-issue-06/protecting-those-small-places/ >

Abstract: A proportionate and informed legislative response to the COVID-19 crisis, and the period beyond, has to be based on human rights principles

Stobbs, Nigel, Belinda Bennett and Ian Freckelton, 'Compassion, the Vulnerable and COVID-19' (2020) 27(4) Journal of Law and Medicine 865-876

Abstract: Levels of personal anxiety are inevitably escalating in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including individual fear of infection, grief at the loss of loved ones and reactive depression related to loss of employment and livelihood. This article considers the importance of compassion in a range of contemporary and emerging contexts during a time of pandemic. These include: exposure of medical and care professionals to the acute demands of overstretched institutions resulting in adverse mental health outcomes and compassion fatigue; attitudes towards the burgeoning cohort of welfare recipients; and particularly vulnerable groups such as the elderly, and those who are homeless. The article considers how we ought to conceive of compassion in these contexts and makes some suggestions for building future compassion interventions and training.

Tessler, Hannah, Meera Choi and Grace Kao, 'The Anxiety of Being Asian American: Hate Crimes and Negative Biases During the COVID-19 Pandemic' (2020) 45 American Journal of Criminal Justice 636-646

Abstract: In this essay, we review how the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic that began in the United States in early 2020 has elevated the risks of Asian Americans to hate crimes and Asian American businesses to vandalism. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the incidents of negative bias and microaggressions against Asian Americans have also increased. COVID-19 is directly linked to China, not just in terms of the origins of the disease, but also in the coverage of it. Because Asian Americans have historically been viewed as perpetually foreign no matter how long they have lived in the United States, we posit that it has been relatively easy for people to treat Chinese or Asian Americans as the physical embodiment of foreignness and disease. We examine the historical antecedents that link Asian Americans to infectious diseases. Finally, we contemplate the possibility that these experiences will lead to a reinvigoration of a panethnic Asian American identity and social movement.

Thomas, George and Erica Pulford, 'Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19' (2020) 72(3) Rutgers Law Review (forthcoming) (forthcoming)

Abstract: Can a state close its borders to, or impose mandatory quarantine on, travelers from states or cities that have a high community spread of COVID-19? On March 26, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo imposed various restrictions on travelers from New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo threatened to sue. On June 24, Governor Cuomo, along with New Jersey and Connecticut governors, imposed mandatory quarantine on travelers from eight states that had developed into 'hot spots' for the virus. What kind of restrictions would be most effective in dampening the spread of the virus? Does the Constitution permit these restrictions on out of state citizens?

Thome, Johannes et al, 'The Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on the Medico-Legal and Human Rights of Psychiatric Patients' (2020) 63(1) European Psychiatry e50

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has raised significant concerns for population mental health and the effective provision of mental health services in the light of increased demands and barriers to service delivery [1]. Particular attention is being directed toward the possible neuropsychiatric sequelae of both COVID-19 and of the stringent societal mitigation steps deployed by national governments, concerns that are informed by historical increases in the incidence of psychotic disorders following influenza pandemics [2]. However, so far there has been scant attention paid to other important areas of psychiatry during COVID-19, including medico-legal aspects and human rights. In this paper, we discuss the legal implications for psychiatry of the COVID-19 pandemic and report a novel situation in which psychiatric patients may experience diminution of their statutory protections. We believe that this represents a paradigm shift in psychiatric care and that the consideration of the fundamental rights of psychiatric patients as 'less important' than infection control measures compel mental health professionals to 'advocate for ... patients and their caregivers' in this time of crisis [1].

Tidball, Marie et al, 'An Affront to Dignity, Inclusion and Equality: Coronavirus and the Impact of Law, Policy, Practice and Access to Services on People with Disabilities in the United Kingdom' (University of Oxford, Faculty of Law, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, Bonavero Report No 4/2020, 2 July 2020)

Extract: The Oxford University Disability Law & Policy Project and the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, with the support of a group of leading academics working on disability law, have produced a policy report which describes the impact of coronavirus related law, policy and practice on people with disabilities in the United Kingdom. This Report is based on material the authors submitted to the House of Commons Women and Equality Committee inquiries on the unequal impact of Covid-19 and the Coronavirus Act 2020 on People with protected characteristics and papers given at a University webinar on Disability in the Context of the Coronavirus Crisis. The unequal impact of the coronavirus crisis, charted in the essays, in this report is startling. In June, the Office for National Statistics Data revealed that almost 60% of deaths from coronavirus in the UK have been people with disabilities. Disabled women are 2.4 times more likely to die from Covid-19 and men with disabilities 1.9 times more likely to die. These risk levels rise to 11.3 times for disabled women aged under 65 and 6.5 times for men. The Report makes twenty-two recommendations, including on the need for a national inquiry to understand the scale of Covid-19 related deaths and to examine why this groups have carried such a heavy burden for the pandemic.

Timotijevic, Jelena, 'Society's "New Normal"? The Role of Discourse in Surveillance and Silencing of Dissent During and Post Covid-19' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3608576, 27 May 2020)

Abstract: Within the historical materialist tradition, communication is principally understood to occur in concrete social contexts which are continually shifting in real socio-historical environments. Such a view of language and communication enables for an examination of media narratives in fast changing political landscapes surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular the manner in which normalisation of the discourses of surveillance takes place in the time of the health crisis. In examining surveillance practices and silencing of dissent in capitalism, we point to the dangers of a newly emergent narrative of the 'new normal' which threatens a violation of human rights and civil liberties.

Toussaint, Etienne, 'Of American Fragility: Public Rituals, Human Rights, and the End of Invisible Man' [2021] Columbia Human Rights Law Review (forthcoming)

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of American democracy in at least two important ways. First, the coronavirus has ravaged Black communities across the United States, unmasking decades of inequitable laws and public policies that have rendered Black lives socially and economically isolated from adequate health care services, educational resources, housing stability, environmental security, stable and living wage jobs, generational wealth, and other institutional structures necessary for resilience. Second, government-mandated social distancing in response to the coronavirus has failed to dampen America's racially biased, violent, and supervisory policing culture, reigniting demands from the Movement for Black Lives for police abolition and, more generally, the dismantling of white supremacy in sociopolitical life. In response, scholars have called for a radical (re)imagination of American democracy. This Article argues that resolving the fragility of American democracy amidst the terrors of COVID-19 warrants a renewed commitment to the emancipatory language of human rights.In recent years, scholars have sharply critiqued human rights law as a tool for social transformation. Accordingly, this Article grounds its assertion on three claims, using the issue of housing insecurity as a guiding explanatory thread. First, the geography of health inequity in Black communities across America embodies not merely discrete instantiations of historical governmental neglect, but more poignantly, the collective rituals of white supremacy that create and reconstitute the racial social order. As a result, beyond coordinated public health measures and short-term economic stimulus plans, the future of American democracy demands new tools to confront the embeddedness of racial ritualization in everyday life. Second, human rights discourse challenges the normative underpinnings of contemporary public policy, too often tinged with liberal assumptions about the human condition that enshrine structural inequality and contain economic power. Third, human rights discourse expands the social imaginary, fostering innovation in lawmaking by deconstructing antiquated valuations of equality and reconstructing contextual notions of liberty. Taken together, these insights reveal human rights discourse as a project of reimagining legal subjectivity and state responsibility.To further elucidate the benefits of human rights discourse in view of compelling arguments to move beyond rights-based framings of equality and discrimination, this Article places Martha Fineman's theory of vulnerability in conversation with Ralph Ellison's articulation of the Black American experience during Jim Crow segregation in his novel, Invisible Man. This dialogue reveals the erasure of 'sacrifice' from ongoing discussions of social and economic inequality, a critical dimension of democratic citizenship that has been rendered invisible in contemporary rights-based discourse and emergent strategies for poverty alleviation. Even more, drawing insights from the Movement for Black Lives and contemporary theorists of political philosophy, this dialogue clarifies the central role of 'dignity' in establishing the preconditions for an engaged citizenry in the context of American racial capitalism.

Townsend, Dina Lupin, 'COVID-19 and the Human Right to Water and Sanitation' in Barrie Sander and Jason Rudall (eds), Opinio Juris Symposium on COVID-19 and International Law (2020)

Extract: Information and advice on COVID-19 has been changing at an alarming rate, but one message has remained consistent for weeks: wash your hands. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that 'frequent and proper hand hygiene is one of the most important measures that can be used to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus'. States and international bodies have tried to keep the messaging on this point extremely clear and concise, producing illustrated guides and even songs to get the message across. But as the number of infections in Africa and Asia grows, the messaging on handwashing becomes more complex. There is nothing simple about washing your hands when you have extremely limited access to clean water. In 2019, the WHO reported that 785 million people lack even a basic drinking-water service.

Travis, Michelle A, 'A Post-Pandemic Antidiscrimination Approach to Workplace Flexibility' (2021) 64 Washington University Journal of Law and Policy

Abstract: The dramatic workplace changes in the wake of the global pandemic offer courts both an opportunity and an obligation to reexamine prior antidiscrimination case law on workplace flexibility. Before COVID-19, courts embraced an essentialized view of workplaces built upon a 'full-time face-time norm,' which refers to the judicial presumption that work is defined by long hours, rigid schedules, and uninterrupted, in-person performance at a centralized workspace. By applying this presumption to both accommodation requests under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and to disparate impact claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, pre-pandemic courts systematically undermined antidiscrimination law's potential for workplace restructuring to expand equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities and for women with disproportionate caregiving responsibilities. This Article demonstrates how employers' widespread adoption of flexible work arrangements in the wake of COVID-19--including telecommuting, modified schedules, temporary leaves, and other flextime options--undermine these prior decisions and demand a new analysis of antidiscrimination law's potential to advance workplace flexibility.

Tzevelekos, Vassilis P and Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou, 'Normal as Usual? Human Rights in Times of Covid-19' (2020) 1(2) European Convention on Human Rights Law Review 141-149

Extract: Emergencies call for extraordinary measures. Inevitably, such measures interfere with human rights. Some of these interferences are direct, thus also easier to recognise. For instance, lockdown policies clash with and restrict a number of fundamental liberties. Other types of intersections between the pandemic and human rights are rather indirect. This makes it more difficult to assess the damage they (will) cause. For instance, it is certain that the impact of the pandemic on the economy will inevitably limit the ability of states to engage with human rights protection policies having a (significant) economic cost. To give an example, to run a well-equipped public hospital, national authorities rely on public revenues coming from taxes. Decline in the economy also amounts to reduction of resources that can be spent on positive human rights obligations such as provision of medical care. Obviously, this is also a matter of priorities (which is a question we discuss further below), meaning that a state may decide to use its limited resources to run a hospital to satisfactory standards. But the money spent on this policy will not be available for another human rights relevant policy, such as the protection of asylum seekers and refugees or running a well-funded prison system. On a number of occasions, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) declared that limited resources cannot excuse the violation of rights such as the ones enshrined in Articles 3 or 6 ECHR. However, states are making difficult choices and the Court cannot ignore the new reality affected by a very plausible economic downfall caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

Van Ho, Tara, 'A Time to Kill "Business as Usual"-Centering Human Rights in a Frustrated Economy (Part I)' in Barrie Sander and Jason Rudall (eds), Opinio Juris Symposium on COVID-19 and International Law (2020)

Introduction: Part 1 considers how dominant approaches to business activities impact on our preparedness to fight pandemics, shifting the burden of pandemics onto society's most vulnerable. Part 2 examines how existing expectations in the field of 'business and human rights,' alongside other structural reforms to international law, can offer a different path forward.

Van Ho, Tara, 'A Time to Kill "Business as Usual"-Centering Human Rights in a Frustrated Economy (Part II)' in Barrie Sander and Jason Rudall (eds), Opinio Juris Symposium on COVID-19 and International Law (2020)

Introduction: In the first part, I set out how 'business as usual' with regard to shareholder primacy has exacerbated human rights concerns associated with COVID-19. In this post, I want to set out a path forward for a more sustainable and appropriate approach. Before I do, I want to briefly address the title of these posts.

Venizelos, Evangelos, 'Pandemic, Fundamental Rights and Democracy: The Greek Example' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3626248, 28 April 2020)

Abstract: The Coronavirus pandemic is not only a health, economic and social challenge but a major challenge for national constitutions, international law and the EU legal order as well. More precisely, the pandemic is evolving into a comprehensive challenge to the acquis of modernity, i.e. liberal democracy, human rights and the guarantees of the rule of law, the nation state and its sovereignty, the organization of international society and the role of the United Nations and international organizations, regional cooperation, European integration and solidarity, and the degree of economic development and the 'western way of life'. Our analysis will be focused on fundamental rights, while also making some necessary references to the function of liberal democracy institutions.

Warren, Christie S, 'Individual Rights, Personal Responsibilities' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3722849, 27 August 2020)

Abstract: COVID-19 raises important questions about rights and responsibilities - both individual and collective - in the face of global emergencies, concluding that what we have the right to do is not necessarily what we should do.

Wiley, Lindsay F and Samuel R Bagenstos, 'The Personal Responsibility Pandemic: Centering Solidarity in Public Health and Employment Law' [2020] Arizona State Law Journal (forthcoming)

Abstract: The personal responsibility ethos that has driven the US response to the coronavirus pandemic has been ineffective, atomizing, and unjust. Restrictions on public services and private activities have disproportionately burdened people living in low-income households, people with disabilities, people of color, and women. At the same time, the severe illnesses and deaths that have continued to occur in spite of public health responses have been disproportionately concentrated among people of color, disabled people, and low-wage workers. This paper argues that fundamentally individualistic employment and antidiscrimination laws have undermined--rather than supported--disempowered workers' ability to protect themselves and others. The law has failed to protect people who live and work in congregate institutions (including nursing homes, prisons, jails, detention facilities, factories, and warehouses . . . and, perhaps soon, schools) and thus has failed to protect the broader communities with which these institutions are interconnected. Together, public health and employment laws have put the onus on individuals to adopt protective behaviors without providing them with the supports, accommodations, and protections they need to do so. We identify three key areas for reform to ensure more effective and just pandemic response--for this pandemic and the next one--built on a core commitment to social solidarity in public health law and employment and antidiscrimination law. First, public health law should prioritize supports that create the conditions required mitigate the spread of infection over punitive measures targeting individuals. Second, employment law should protect workers from infection, including through workplace safety, privacy, and antidiscrimination protections that enable them to adopt protective health behaviors. Third, for individuals for whom returning to work would be especially unsafe--whether because their employers maintain particularly dangerous conditions or because of their own, or their family members', underlying health conditions--employment law should remove any obligation to return to work while the special dangers associated with the pandemic persist. In addition to making concrete proposals for reform, our argument contributes to the academic literature in both public health and employment law. First, we show that a broad vision of public health law that encompasses action on the social determinants of health in 'non-health' sectors such as employment and antidiscrimination law is not only tenable, but essential. The US experience with the coronavirus pandemic puts the final nail in the coffin of the 'old' public health, which its cramped focus on microbial and behavioral interventions. Second, we bring to the foreground an additional justification for employment and antidiscrimination law--to promote solidarity by ensuring that the burdens and benefits of measures that serve the public as a whole are shared equitably. Social solidarity may offer a useful way of understanding the application of these bodies of law in other health-related contexts as well, such as genetic discrimination and workplace injuries. Third, we show that the attribution of fault and responsibility is a persistent obsession of employment and antidiscrimination law. These points should be of broad interest to employment and public health law scholars alike.

Williams, Christina M, 'Policy and Law Changes to Address Healthcare Inequities for Minority Populations during COVID-19' (2020) 1(3) Journal of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 49-52

Introduction: While other countries have begun to see a flattening of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) curve, the United States continues to see a rise in cases, with approximately 7.4 million confirmed cases to date. Even more worrisome, various news articles have begun to shed light on the healthcare inequities that have become increasingly more transparent during this crisis. The current literature shows that during this coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, viral transmission has disproportionately affected Black, American Indian/ Alaska Native, Latinx, Asian-American, and the Pacific Islander communities. More specifically, in states such as Chicago and Louisiana, African Americans experience at least a 50% higher total death count as compared to their White counterparts. In states such as New York, the deaths per 100,000 for African Americans has been around double that of Whites since the beginning of the crisis. A recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that 76.9% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 70.6% of those who died were Black, despite the fact that only 31% of the Ochsner Health Population in the state is African American. Healthcare in Alabama has highlighted similar glaring issues. An increasing number of White Americans are being infected with COVID-19, but African Americans continue to represent a higher percentage of total COVID-19-associated deaths. Interestingly, fewer African Americans have been infected with COVID-19 in Alabama, but a higher mortality rate exists even for African Americans who were found to have no other underlying medical conditions. Based on the COVID Racial Data Tracker, which measures data from the District of Columbia and 41 states, the Latinx community has been disproportionately testing positive as well. In 30 states, the rates have been around double that of non-minority populations, and over four times the rate in eight alternate states. The American Indian community, specifically the Navajo Nation, has accounted for 60% of cases in New Mexico, while only comprising 9% of the total population. The pandemic has brought healthcare inequities that have existed for decades to the forefront of policy conversations--there are steps that can be taken in both the short and long-term to address the needs of these vulnerable populations.

Williams, J Corey et al, 'Reopening the United States: Black and Hispanic Workers Are Essential and Expendable Again' (2020) 110(10) American Journal of Public Health 1506-1508

Introduction: By May 15, 2020, all 50 states had announced plans to reopen their economies. These plans emerged on the heels of an increasing awareness that COVID-19 had hit minority communities particularly hard, especially Black communities. Despite constituting only 13% of the US population, Blacks have made up 24% of the deaths from COVID-19 nationally, rendering them at least twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than are other groups. A recent survey from Johns Hopkins University and the American Community Survey indicated that the death rate for predominantly Black counties is sixfold higher than the rate in predominantly White counties. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority communities has been partly attributed to the racial composition of the workers in economic sectors deemed essential, including home health care, nursing homes, and community food and housing services. In these sectors, where employees are likely to come into contact with COVID-19 (i.e., high-contact jobs), Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be employed than are Whites. Data from a recent McKinsey Report2 show examples from critical economic sectors where the laborers are predominantly people of color. For example, in jobs such as psychiatric aid, nursing assistant, and orderly, Blacks make up more than twice their relative proportion of the broader US population (i.e., 13%). Because it is difficult for these jobs to be performed remotely, racial minorities have shouldered more than their share of essential labor during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their communities have been disparately endangered as a result.

Wilson, Kay, 'The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Human Rights of Persons with Mental and Cognitive Impairments Subject to Coercive Powers in Australia' (2020) 73(November-December) International Journal of Law and Psychiatry: Special Issue on Mental health, Mental Capacity, Ethics and the Law in the Context of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Articlw 101605

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the human rights of persons with mental and cognitive impairments subject to coercive powers in Australia. It sets out the relevant human rights in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which have been engaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and the government's response to it. It examines the effect of emergency legislation on the relaxation of human rights safeguards in mental health laws, with a focus on mental health tribunals (although it is limited by a lack of published decisions and gaps in publicly available information). However, some of the issues created for persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic are evident in some decisions published by the New South Wales Guardianship Tribunal. The paper critically analyses two guardianship decisions UZX [2020] NSWCATGD 3 (3 April, 2020) and GZK [2020] NSWCATGD 5 (23 April, 2020) and some emergency South Australian legislation COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, 2020 (SA) Schedule 1 to demonstrate the ways in which the human rights of persons with mental and cognitive impairments can be more at risk than those of the general population, even when the general population is itself in 'lockdown.'

Wiratraman, Herlambang Perdana, 'Does Indonesian COVID-19 Emergency Law Secure Rule of Law and Human Rights?' (2020) 4(1) Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights 306-334

Abstract: President Joko Widodo announced a public health emergency at the end of March 2020. This policy demonstrates denial, too late and limited in responding to the spread of Covid-19. On the other hand, the state security approach during the pandemic has pressured civil liberties, especially criticisms against government policies. This phenomenon is not a new development in Indonesia whereby attacks on freedom of expression and academic freedom are common. This article analyses how the COVID-19 health emergency situation is handled by the government from the perspective of human rights law standards and the rule of law. This article argues the Indonesian COVID-19 emergency law violates many guarantees of legal protection under the rule of law standard. It is apparent how the issue of human rights has not yet become an effective strategy or approach in this non-natural disaster emergency situation.

Wright, James E and Cullen C Merritt, 'Social Equity and COVID-19: The Case of African Americans' 80(5) Public Administration Review 820-826

Abstract: Emerging statistics demonstrate that COVID-19 disproportionately affects African Americans. The effects of COVID-19 for this population are inextricably linked to areas of systemic oppression and disenfranchisement, which are further exacerbated by COVID-19: (1) healthcare inequality; (2) segregation, overall health, and food insecurity; (3) underrepresentation in government and the medical profession; and (4) inequalities in participatory democracy and public engagement. Following a discussion of these issues, this article shares early and preliminary lessons and strategies on how public administration scholars and practitioners can lead in crafting equitable responses to this global pandemic to uplift the African American community.

Wyllie, Aaron, 'The Human Rights of Older People during Covid-19: Social Wellbeing and Access to Care and Support for Older People in the United Kingdom' in Carla Ferstman and Andrew Fagan (eds), Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues (School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 2020) 197-203

Abstract: To date, the vast majority of Covid-19 deaths have been those over the age of 65. The vulnerability of older people to the impacts of Covid-19 were recognised early and have featured prominently in policy discussions and decision-making of governments around the world. While the risks posed by Covid-19 to the health and wellbeing of older people are significant, the impact of policies introduced in response to the public health crisis raise several critical human rights issues. This article addresses two broad areas of concern regarding the rights of older people which have emerged in the United Kingdom as a consequence of Covid-19. Firstly, this article discusses the risks posed by the suspension of several Local Authority duties under the Care Act, and proposes amendments aimed at ensuring the rights of people in need of care and support are maintained during this period. Secondly, the social wellbeing of older people is discussed with reference to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which establishes the right to respect for private and family life. For older adults living the in the community, it is argued that Article 8 imposes a positive obligation on Local Authorities to identify and support those older adults experiencing significant isolation or loneliness as a consequence of measures introduced in response Covid-19. In care home environments, Article 8 is considered with reference to the suspension of care home visitation rights, which is argued to be a disproportional and overly restrictive measure which imperils the rights and social wellbeing of older people.

Wynne, Keona Jeane, Mila Petrova and Rachel Coghlan, 'Dying Individuals and Suffering Populations: Applying a Population-Level Bioethics Lens to Palliative Care in Humanitarian Contexts: Before, during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic' (2020) 46(8) Journal of Medical Ethics 514-525

Background: Humanitarian crises and emergencies, events often marked by high mortality, have until recently excluded palliative care--a specialty focusing on supporting people with serious or terminal illness or those nearing death. In the COVID-19 pandemic, palliative care has received unprecedented levels of societal attention. Unfortunately, this has not been enough to prevent patients dying alone, relatives not being able to say goodbye and palliative care being used instead of intensive care due to resource limitations. Yet global guidance was available. In 2018, the WHO released a guide on 'Integrating palliative care and symptom relief into the response to humanitarian emergencies and crises'--the first guidance on the topic by an international body. Aims This paper argues that while a landmark document, the WHO guide took a narrowly clinical bioethics perspective and missed crucial moral dilemmas. We argue for adding a population-level bioethics lens, which draws forth complex moral dilemmas arising from the fact that groups having differential innate and acquired resources in the context of social and historical determinants of health. We discuss dilemmas concerning: limitations of material and human resources; patient prioritisation; euthanasia; and legacy inequalities, discrimination and power imbalances. Implications In parts of the world where opportunity for preparation still exists, and as countries emerge from COVID-19, planners must consider care for the dying. Immediate steps to support better resolutions to ethical dilemmas of the provision of palliative care in humanitarian and emergency contexts will require honest debate; concerted research effort; and international, national and local ethical guidance.

Yearby, Ruqaiijah and Seema Mohapatra, 'Law, Structural Racism, and the COVID-19 Pandemic' (2020) 7(1) Journal of Law and the Biosciences Article lsaa036

Abstract: Racial and ethnic minorities have always been the most impacted by pandemics because of: disparities in exposure to the virus; disparities in susceptibility to contracting the virus; and disparities in treatment. This article explains how structural racism, the ways in which laws are used to advantage the majority and disadvantage racial and ethnic minorities, has caused these disparities. Specifically, this article focuses on how employment, housing, health care, and COVID-19 relief laws have been manipulated to disadvantage racial and ethnic minorities, making minorities more susceptible to COVID-19 infection and death. This article uses Blumenshine's 2008 framework to outline how structural racism causes racial and ethnic minorities' disparities in exposure to viruses, in susceptibility to contracting viruses, in treatment of viruses, and in infection and death rates. This article discusses how historical and current practices of structural racism in existing employment, housing, and health care laws and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) cause disparities in COVID-19 infections and deaths. This article suggests legal solutions to address structural racism as well as public health solutions to help mitigate the racialized effects of the disease.

Yearby, Ruqaiijah and Seema Mohapatra, 'Systemic Racism, the Government's Pandemic Response, and Racial Inequities in COVID-19' [2021] Emory Law Journal (forthcoming)

Jurisdiction: USA
Abstract: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal and state governments have ignored racial and ethnic minorities' unequal access to employment and health care that results in racial inequities in COVID-19 infections and deaths. In addition, they have enacted laws that further exacerbate these inequities. Consequently, many racial and ethnic minorities are employed in low-wage essential jobs that lack paid sick leave and health insurance. This lack of benefits causes them to go to work even when they are sick and prevents them from receiving appropriate medical treatment. As a result, racial and ethnic minorities have disproportionately been infected and died from COVID-19. Although these actions seem race "neutral," they exemplify systemic racism. Racial and ethnic minorities are deemed inferior to white people, and thus they do not receive the same access to resources, such as employment and health care. This essay illustrates how systemic racism has resulted in racial inequities in COVID-19 infections and deaths through case studies in employment and health care. Using the health justice framework, it concludes with suggestions to eradicate systemic racism, redress harm, and engage community in implementing an equitable pandemic response.

Yearby, Ruqaiijah and Seema Mohapatra, 'Structural Discrimination In COVID-19 Workplace Protections' (Saint Louis University Legal Studies Research Paper No 2020-09, 29 May 2020)
Abstract: Workers, who are being asked to risk their health by working outside their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, need adequate hazard compensation, safe workplace conditions, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Sadly, this is not happening for many essential workers, such as those working in home health care and in the meat processing industry. These workers are not only being unnecessarily exposed to the virus, but they are also not receiving paid sick leave, unemployment benefits, and affordable health care and childcare. The lack of these protections is due to structural discrimination and has disproportionately disadvantaged women of color and low-wage workers. This leaves them and their families more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and death. In this context, structural discrimination refers to the ways in which laws are used to advantage those in power, while disadvantaging powerless workers. In the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of legal protections for many workers is a reflection of structural discrimination.

Young, Katharine, 'The Idea of a Human Rights-Based Economic Recovery after Covid-19' (Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No 538, 24 August 2020)

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has produced a health and economic crisis of unprecedented scope. As economists and policymakers turn to the task of recovery, protecting human rights remains intrinsically important, both morally and legally. It is also instrumental to the ends of public health and economic resilience. This Article argues that the human rights to life, health, education, social security, housing, food, water and sanitation - the so-called economic and social rights - are as essential as civil and political protections. Moreover, rather than simply ameliorate the inevitable indignities and material deprivations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of duties to respect economic and social rights can help ensure their protection in the post-COVID-19 economy. For this to occur, however, the Article suggests that the application of human rights to the economic recovery should be informed by a longer history of economic crises, assisted by both international and comparative economic and social rights frameworks, and open to the institutional reimagination that the idea of human rights helps to generate.

Zarifi, Sam and Kate Powers, 'Human Rights in the Time of COVID-19: Front and Centre' in Barrie Sander and Jason Rudall (eds), Opinio Juris Symposium on COVID-19 and International Law (2020)

Introduction: the aim of this blog is to highlight the necessity of ensuring the consistency of public health policies taken as part of the global responses to the COVID-19 pandemic with human rights law and standards.

This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding AustLII Communities? Send feedback
This website is using cookies. More info. That's Fine