Immigration Laws in the Time of COVID-19: Discretionary Powers Gone Too Far?

No reasonable lawyer would dispute the severe and unprecedented impact of the recent Covid-19 outbreak on the Singaporean legal landscape. Immigration laws are no exception. Work-permit holders, students and foreign domestic workers were faced with extreme uncertainty after the Singapore Government introduced wide-ranging immigration restrictions on permit and pass holders seeking to enter Singapore. Many who were based overseas were unable to return to their workplaces in Singapore or worse, were separated from their families and loved ones. My presentation will consider the nature, scope and impact of the immigration restrictions on Singapore society, the long-term impact of these restrictions, and the compatibility of these restrictions with the rule of law.

Romania’s response to the public emergency: Derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights

Romania has decided to derogate from the application of the ECHR during the state of emergency caused by COVID-19. The pandemic has showed that the lack of effective measures can cause significant disruptions. For example the closure of the borders affecting the transport of goods, unproportioned restrictions on freedom of movement of villagers in rural areas can lead to inflated price in the only local shop. The inadequate flow of information can cause differences in the application of institutionalized quarantine. Language minorities face a disadvantage, when the official information is shared exclusively in Romanian. And it is also important to underline the responsibility of leaders and authorities to not to abuse their position in order to forge political capital. This study highlights some of the effects of the measures on fundamental rights, to underline the importance of an adequate legislation of quality governing emergency situations.

Migrant Agency Challenge to the Mobile Law: a case-study from Ukraine

This paper on the basis of several empirical examples discusses how the public law operates and the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine are impacting it in the context of the securitization-desecuritisation and conceptual approaches to studying migrant agency. In doing so it pays due regard to the effort to reconcile security and human rights in the country fighting the external aggression and takes into account the changes brought by the COVID-19.
Based on the documentary analysis and series of semi-structured interviews with Ukrainian IDPs and experts regarding the events of 2014-2020, it explores the IDPs’ ability to change the law, as well as strategies and instruments employed, in order to test the hypothesis about the influence of the expert knowledge on the internal migrants’ agency within the law, agency and security nexus.

Constitutional Rights at the Border

The increasing hostility in the United States towards migrants and the growing militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border has had significant legal, political, and social repercussions. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the tensions over immigration by increasing the poverty, violence, and political instability that propel individuals to flee their country while simultaneously fueling anti-migrant sentiment within the United States. The paper explores the implications of these developments for the constitutional rights of asylum seekers and others fleeing persecution. More broadly, the paper describes how nationalistic and militarized approaches to the border obscure the real challenges created by shifts in global migration patterns and divert attention from developing policies that seek to enhance regional cooperation and uphold human rights protections–policies that are particularly important in addressing complex challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.