The System of Legal Sources: Collateral Damage in the Covid-19 Pandemic?

A key challenge for legal studies during the Covid-19 Pandemic is how to assess different sources of law dynamically. ‘Traditional’ legal sources, such as standard domestic legislation, have been put under major stress worldwide. The current presentation discusses these issues regarding the Lex-Atlas:Covid-19 report on Spain. First, the use of instruments such as decree-laws, i.e. statutes passed solely by the Government, and the Government’s declaration of states of alarm allowing the executive to issue extraordinarily restrictive measures normally reserved to Parliament. Second, the role of soft law and the difficulties in appraising it, due to constant change and haphazard official publication of official recommendations. These developments reveal a worrying lack of ‘active’ parliamentary involvement in the pandemic response in Spain. High levels of legal uncertainty, and an almost absolute lack of transparency and public participation in decision-making, ensue as a consequence.