Measuring Constitutional Loyalty: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Constitutional loyalty, the importance ascribed to complying with constitutional rules, is difficult to measure across countries due to differences in context, history, and culture. We overcome this challenge by exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic as an ideal setting in which societies around the world face a novel and similar public health crisis, inducing governments to adopt comparable policies. Based on a survey carried out in 53 countries around the world in 2021, we show that citizens’ support for COVID-19 mitigation policies declines if courts signal doubts about their constitutionality. We further demonstrate that this effect of constitutional loyalty depends on citizens’ characteristics, such as their confidence in the courts and their moral convictions.

Law of Emergency in Greece: Constitutional Matters

During the last decade, Greece has been in the middle of several crises. First, the severe economic crisis with tremendous effects in all aspects of economic and social life and then the Covid-19 pandemic crisis that seriously disrupted the normal course of life. During both crises, several measures were introduced through the emergency law process of article 44, para. 1 of the Constitution. According to that provision “Under extraordinary circumstances of an urgent and unforeseeable need, the President of the Republic may, upon the proposal of the Cabinet, issue acts of legislative content”. The aim of this paper is to discuss certain constitutional matters that arise from the application of emergency law in Greece under the checks and balances principle.

Reflections on the Regulations of the Digital Surveillance during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Study of Japan and Taiwan

It is noticeable that many East Asian governments, even those in democracies, have made significant use of digital surveillance technology to achieve better COVID-19 epidemic control. As digital surveillance is highly relevant to human rights, and there are concerns about governments taking advantage of pandemic situations to expand powers, this has led to considerable debate. For example, the governments of Japan and Taiwan have used different types of technology, such as tracking or digital footprint, and even combined them with existing communication software to investigate outbreaks and control quarantine. But not all measures have a sound legal basis and have caused much controversy. Therefore, this study would like to look at the example of Japan and Taiwan to explore: How far digital surveillance has come in the COVID-19 epidemic and how the regulation systems can catch up with it? The regulatory mechanism for the return to the new normal is also of concern in this paper.

The Constitution as an Institution: Experimental Evidence

For many citizens around the world, their national constitution is more than just a set of legal rules: it is a venerated institution. The constitution’s venerated status may ensure that its provisions will be upheld.
This straightforward claim is central to modern constitutional theory; there just is not much direct evidence that it is true. We conducted a series of survey experiments in the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic to nationally representative samples in the U.S., Israel, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. At this uncertain time, we asked respondents if they supported nine potential liberty-restricting COVID-19 policy responses. We then randomly told some respondents that these policies were unconstitutional.
We find that a large majority of respondents supported all nine policies. But being prompted to consider the constitution reduced support for only a few of the most extreme policies in just three countries.

Technical-scientific bodies in public decision-making processes: a comparison of the French and Italian cases in occasion of the pandemic crisis.

The pandemic crisis has highlighted more than any previous experience the growing importance of technical-scientific bodies. These advisory bodies have played a fundamental role in the procedures for the declaration of state of emergency and in the adoption of measures aimed at protecting public health. This presentation, through the comparison of the French and Italian cases, will analyze the effectiveness of the advices given by these technical-scientific bodies, the procedures for appointing the members of these bodies and the guarantees of their independence. Lastly, the role of technical-scientific bodies in the relations between Government and Parliament will be analyzed. Indeed, scientific expertise is assuming the features of a real power in relation to which it is necessary to identify characteristics and limits.