How Should the Constitution Survive Pandemic(s)?: Revisiting South Korea’s Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Looking back from Spring 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic has gravely damaged public health globally as well as undermined the constitutional commitments of each country. In South Korea, there was unprecedented encroachment on individual liberties and cutbacks in democracy and the rule of law, although it was praised for the effective response at the early stage of the pandemic. However, with the virus evolving and features of the risk changing, the state’s response faced criticism for its unpredictability and ineffectiveness.
I will examine what particular challenges the state branches(the legislative, executive, and judicial branches) respectively had to address over time and whether the existing constitutional standards were applicable to review the cases. In doing so, I will reveal constitutional loopholes in theory and practice in dealing with extraordinary matters and present some agendas in readiness for other emergencies such as future pandemics.