The Role of Courts in Pandemics

The presentation will discuss the active and passive roles played by courts in different countries in overseeing the flurry of regulation emanating from executives and parliaments during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the data collected in the first phase of LAC19 shows, courts were not only used to try to stop or put limits on public health measures regarded as too intrusive of civil liberties but also, interestingly, to try to force governments to adopt more stringent measures where they were reluctant to do so. Courts from different countries also varied significantly, not surprisingly, along the familiar spectrum of activism and deference.