Federalism & Public Health Emergencies: A Comparative Study of India & Canada

While the impact of federalism on healthcare delivery and other important aspects of pandemic management has been the subject of some academic study, the ways in which public health emergencies have shaped constitutional traditions and practices relating to federalism have been less explored. Given the similarities between Indian and Canadian law and practice on federalism, this paper will conduct a comparative study of their responses to COVID-19 to answer the following questions: (1) How have public health emergencies historically impacted (and been impacted by) federalism? (2) Based on lessons learnt from the pandemic, can we develop a “best practices” model for federalism during public health emergencies? The paper will also make a case for increased emphasis on India and Canada as the ‘most similar cases’ for comparative constitutional studies.