Fighting COVID 19 – Legal Powers and Risks: Spain

A global health crisis, broadcasted almost instantly, arguably ensures that most citizens accept health recommendations responsibly, and no coercive measures are needed for them to take precautions. In fact, the first decisions made by the Spanish health authorities with respect to COVID-19 were passed through documents with no regulatory value. However, the rapid spread of the epidemic forced these authorities to increasingly restrict various fundamental rights and freedoms. Three major legal issues arose then: firstly, whether the ordinary provisions of the health legislation were sufficient to deal with this crisis or emergency powers should be triggered; secondly, whether the central government should have powers devolved to better manage the crisis; and, thirdly, under which conditions and to what extent the government may restrict constitutional rights by virtue of these emergency powers.

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Fighting COVID 19: Supportive Measures for Businesses and Workers in South Africa

South Africa has the highest recorded cases of COVID-19 infections in Africa. The Government has acted swiftly after COVID 19 was declared a global pandemic. This blog will discuss the measures that have been put in place by the government, in safeguarding businesses and protecting the rights of workers who are vulnerable to the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19. This will be divided into two sub-topics, namely measures taken during the declaration of national disaster and action initiated during the lockdown.

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Fighting COVID 19 – Legal Powers and Risks: South Korea

The Republic of Korea (South Korea) was calculated to be one of the countries that are “heavily hit” by the spread of COVID-19 that sprung from Wuhan, China. According to the latest Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, as of March 23, South Korea has reported just over 8,900 cases and 111 deaths. Whereas many Western countries have reached ever higher numbers of infections, South Korea’s outbreak curve has been beaten back. From a one-day high of 909 new cases on February 29, South Korea has seen its daily case count rise by as few as 74 cases last Monday. And this Monday the number of new cases was 64. South Korea is seeing a "stabilizing trend", as Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told the BBC recently.

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Fighting COVID 19 – Legal Powers and Risks: Belgium

The last weeks, we have witnessed the outbreak of a virus the like of which the world has not seen in a long time. As the epicenter of the crisis moved to Europe, Belgium has not been spared. Upon finishing this blogpost, 4,269 cases of COVID 19 were reported. 1,859 people were hospitalized. In total, until now, 122 patients died. Measures to fight the crisis and its consequences took many forms, including legally. In this post, we focus on three categories: containment measures, the granting of ‘special powers’ to the executive and measures aimed at socio-economic survival and recovery.

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Fighting COVID 19 – Legal Powers and Risks: Italy

Particularly in the current month of March 2020, Italian authorities have enacted, and gradually intensified and extended, a lockdown on mobility, assembly and economic activities, currently encompassing the entire national territory. Such measures, unprecedented in democratic countries, have met praise by the World Health Organization. From a legal point of view, a vast array of legal instruments has been employed, and some have been crafted for this very occasion (for a complete list, see the references below). We focus here on national initiatives, but also Regions and Municipalities have employed their emergency powers, occasionally creating problems in coordination.

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Fighting COVID 19 – Legal Powers and Risks: SWITZERLAND

Law secures the stability of societies. In times of the Coronavirus, one is under the impression that law is no longer a foundation of our society but a bed of quicksand. Certainties erode at breathtaking speed. The following contribution looks at the current legal situation in Switzerland from a perspective of constitutional and administrative law. Needless to say that it may be outdated quickly.

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Fighting COVID 19 – Supportive Measures for Employees and Enterprises in China

Three months after the first case of COVID-19 reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China is presumably approaching its final stage of domestic control, and its present policy focus is on restoring the country to its normal running. China’s current relatively stable condition on the virus, undoubtedly, is hard-earned. Restrictive measures to fight COVID-19, typically including traffic restriction, work ban and events cancellation, have brought about profound economic implications on individual employees and enterprises. In this blogpost, I will review the legal basis and scope of these measures, followed by an examination of supportive measures for financially affected employees and enterprises respectively.

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Fighting COVID 19 – Navigating Protections for Businesses and Workers in the United States

Given that COVID-19 has generated unprecedented orders for business closures and social distancing, we must examine what safeguards our legal system can offer. Are there protections for people who cannot go to work because they are sick or under quarantine orders? And if so, who provides the monetary compensation? When businesses are forced to close or events forced to cancel, are there any protections to help businesses recover from extreme losses of income due to an infectious disease outbreak? While our current legal system offers scattered safeguards in select jurisdictions, it is only now becoming obvious that reforms are needed to ensure an economic safety net, everywhere, as part of pandemic preparedness.

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Taiwan’s Fight against COVID-19: Constitutionalism, Laws, and the Global Pandemic

Taiwan has demonstrated to the world its strength and success in combating the spread of COVID-19 despite decades of exclusion from the World Health Organization (WHO) and ongoing bullying from the People’s Republic of China (China). Given its geographical proximity and close economic exchanges with China, Taiwan was estimated to be heavily hit by the spread of COVID-19 originated from Wuhan, China. Reversing the trend, Taiwan has maintained a considerably low number of confirmed cases, and detected most cases of possible community spread, while Europe, the United States and the rest of the world are struggling with an ongoing global pandemic.

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Fighting COVID 19 – Legal Powers and Risks: The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom’s response to the coronavirus epidemic is still in its early stages, but seems likely to – eventually – involve a wide range of the emergency powers currently available to the state, as well as some which do not yet exist. Nonetheless, it already seems inevitable that the success of the state’s response to Coronavirus will eventually be judged not only by the nature of the interferences with individual liberty carried out, but also – and perhaps primarily – by the sufficiency of the associated economic measures.

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