Current Developments

The governance of disease outbreaks in international health law

From Ebola to COVID-19 (Part II)

In the first part of this two-part post, we broadly addressed the legal framework provided by the International Health Regulations (IHR), a binding legal instrument within the aegis of the World Health Organization (WHO). In the following subsections, we turn to two more legal dimensions, which were directly at stake during the 2014-2016 West African Ebola crisis and are also present in the COVID-19 pandemic, namely: 1) the role played …

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Current Developments

The governance of disease outbreaks in international health law

From Ebola to COVID-19 (Part I)

A deadly virus starts spreading in several communities. Reports are issued warning of the potential fallout if no action is taken. Yet both national authorities, as well as the WHO, the United Nations as such, and the international community as a whole are subjected to harsh criticism for ignoring the initial warning signs. Had they acted sooner, some say, more lives could have been saved. An overreliance on epidemiological assessments …

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Current Developments

A crisis (not) averted

How the government-imposed lockdown led to a mass exodus of migrant workers in India

The COVID-19 led humanitarian crisis in India has resulted in, what journalist P. Sainath calls, ‘the discovery of its migrant workforce’. The number of internal migrants in India is estimated to be 139 million (Census 2011) with an annual average movement of 9 million people recorded between the states during the period of 2011 to 2016 (Economic Survey of India 2017). In what is known as one of the most …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Ohrenbetäubendes Schweigen

Zur Blockade des Sicherheitsrates im Kampf gegen Covid-19

Die aktuelle Covid-19 Pandemie präsentiert sich als globale Krise nationaler Alleingänge. Das liegt auch am Sicherheitsrat (SR) der Vereinten Nationen (VN), der sich seit Wochen nicht auf eine Resolution einigen kann und so sein Koordinierungspotential nicht realisiert. Politisch ist dieses Schweigen verheerend. Juristisch gesehen verpasst es der SR, an seine vorigen Resolutionen zur Eindämmung von Epidemien anzuknüpfen. In der laufenden Diskussion (hier und hier) zeigt sich nun jedoch, dass die …

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IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

The case for global constitutionalism in pandemic times

As the first shock wave caused by the Covid-19 has partially passed, the conditions and effects of the epidemic and even the post-pandemic process started to be discussed among international public law scholars. So far, the “online” debates among international lawyers seem to focus on a few issues, and one of the solid topics emerging from these debates is the question of whether we are currently witnessing the end of …

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IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

Creating a kingdom of stone walls

The crisis in India’s emergency communication strategy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

India has 376 million active social media users, out of which 66 million are aged between 5 and 11 years, suggesting that a significant number of India’s demographics on social media are school children. Such a vulnerable demographic coupled with the rampant media censorship has created a labyrinth of misinformation on social media in the past. Similarly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Social media is flooded with fake news – ranging …

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IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

To sue or not to sue

Enforcing the obligation to notify under the international health regulations

Various areas of international law highlight the value of information and the essential role of the obligation to notify in fulfilling other duties. The current COVID-19 global crisis has further stressed the significance of notification requirements, given the hypothesized possibility that the pandemic could have been averted had the obligation to notify been fulfilled. Through International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) cases that analyze this obligation, mainly relative to the customary …

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IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

Racial violence and COVID-19

A brief reflection on the coloniality of power in pandemic times

Since COVID-19 emerged, Western discourse vivifies the exclusion and objectification of racial groups regarding both a responsible subject and potential solutions to the pandemic. These solutions articulate political interests instead of addressing the common interests and needs of the entire international population. Western discourse during the pandemic particularly affects the African continent and phenotypically Asian people. It is expression of the still prevailing coloniality of the international structure of power …

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IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

Claims after COVID?

COVID-19 and state defenses in response to investment claims

COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc – not only by taking the lives of thousands of people across the world but also by impacting the national and international economy. The pandemic has disrupted business in all of its manifestations and caused millions of workers to be laid off. Many companies, including those owned and run by foreign investors, are subjected to an unprecedented host of state measures. These unexpected circumstances have …

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IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

Vulnerability in times of Corona

Guidelines from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on the Right to Health

Two years ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Court) issued a seminal ruling regarding the right to health established in Article 26 of the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR). For the first time ever, it held a State Party to be internationally responsible for not guaranteeing non-discriminatory access to health services (previously discussed here and here). In the same case, the Court also established the justiciability of the …

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