The Role of Constitutional Justice in Times of Emergency

The main concern is to identify what should be the role (if any) of constitutional justice and, when appropriate, of the international and supranational system for the protection of human rights during the pandemic. Firstly, courts have scrutinized whether proper procedures are followed and that the emergency response is rooted in law. Secondly, some courts have engaged in substantive rights review, with the goal of ensuring that the restrictions on rights are necessary, proportional and equally applied. Thirdly, some courts have even demanded that the executive take action, especially in contexts where the governments failed to adequately respond to the pandemic. Fourthly, we find that some courts have had to grapple with whether the pandemic allows for elections to be postponed. Nonetheless, the fact that many courts have involved themselves in the pandemic response is a strong indication that executive power has not been entirely unbound during the current pandemic.