Sketching a ‘Lingua franca’ for Comparative Law in Pandemics

Framing a multinational comparative project on legal responses to a pandemic entails posing a set of core research questions. Actual comparability of results will, in turn, depend on ensuring a common language is used when responding to those questions. Otherwise, different reports risk being ‘lost in translation’. The presentation discusses both linguistic and disciplinary hurdles when framing comparative law questions on public health issues. Linguistically, comparisons must deal with the proper portrayal (in the current case, in English) of primary legal sources issued in each country’s official language. At the interdisciplinary level, legal analyses should accurately grasp the scope and rationale of measures adopted for facing public health emergencies. The presentation aims to foster further debates on how to tackle these methodological challenges.