Law, pandemics, and pathologization of violence: memories at war for the inevitability of the avoidable

In times of inevitability violence derived from armed conflicts could be highlighted or hid. Colombia is living the worst intersectional violence in a long time, sharpened by the Covid-19. In this session, I will discuss how turbulent times bound to a discourse of public health could contribute to invisibilize different kinds of victims of the Colombian armed conflict. To achieve this purpose, I am going to use legal history to describe some experiences of pandemics and public hygiene in Colombia, where the magnitude of the crisis condemned the victims of the historical armed conflict to live in the past and to forget any expectation of reparation.

Public Procurement, Bid Rigging, Corruption and Cartels in Times of Covid-19

The public procurement sector has been strongly affected by the emergency rules introduced because of the pandemic. These induced derogation to the competitive procedures for the award of public contracts, reduced the transparency of procedures leading to higher risk of abuses and corruption. In Italy the result may worsen an already complex setting. This paper investigates 617 judicial decisions of the Italian Supreme Court over the period 2016-2020 involving the so-called bid-rigging. We identify some recurring elements, taking into account collusion mostly in the form of cartels, corruption and other conducts. We consider frequency, reference market, value of the contract, number and role of parties involved, type of tender procedure and award criteria, outcome of the judgment, influence of organized crime. The result is an interesting picture of which we try to identify colors and shades as well as implications and costs on the economy and the market.

Parliamentary Republic without Parliamentary Control: Covid-19, Delegation of Legislative Power and the Georgian Case

Constitutional reform of 2017-2018 revised the constitution of Georgia and adopted a new redaction of the basic law. Constitutional amendments changed not only form, but also fundamentals of state construction, including model of governnance. Georgia became parliamentary republic but in very unique way (without diversity of political partie’s parliamentary representation, one ruling party with stabil majority and etc.)
Absence of parliamentary control and Covid-19 made more difficult legal situation in Georgia. Parliament passed the law that delegated all effective and operative power during the pandemic to the government, but without any prior of post factum parliamentary control. Moreover constitutional court of Georgia declared constitutional such delegation and this only deepened the political crisis. Now the Government has official power to use legislative restrictions even against human rights and it is out of parliamentary control.
The paper will analyze these processes.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Executive-Legislative relations in Brazil’s democracy

The article ponders about a democracy’s concept inserted into the logic of presidential systems, considering the work of Juan Linz, who explains that a cooperative relationship between Executive and Legislative is essential for the smooth functioning of state governance and institutions. Add to that reflections on the functioning of Brazilian presidentialism, called “coalition presidentialism” by Sérgio Abranches. Hence, considering that the COVID-19 pandemic created new economic, political, and social challenges, which generate risks for democratic conquests, this work seeks to analyze the legislative production carried out by the two branches of government in the 2020 pandemic year, compared to 2019 (before the pandemic and under the same legislatures). The objective is to verify if there are possible changes in the dynamics between Executive and Legislative in Brazil, as well as if there are impacts on the governmental and institutional stability caused by the pandemic.

COVID-19 and elections in Ethiopia: Exploring constitutional interpretation by the House of the Federation as an exit strategy

Over 60 countries have postponed their elections due to COVID-19. The postponement of elections has posed this question: what exit mechanisms do constitutional systems have to address a power vacuum caused by unforeseen circumstances like COVID-19? How can a legitimate government that adheres to the rule of law, a constitution more specifically, be ensured when elections cannot be held? While some countries held elections amid COVID-19, others postponed them. Ethiopia is one of those countries which have postponed their elections. The postponement of Ethiopia’s elections sparked a debate about how the power vacuum caused by the pandemic should be addressed. After deliberating on the matter, Ethiopia’s lower house approved constitutional interpretation by the upper house as the best solution. The upper house, through interpreting the Constitution, extended the term limits of the government. This article intends to address the question posed above by examining the case of Ethiopia.