Fighting COVID-19 with Religious Discrimination

The Korean authorities have garnered significant praise for their effective response to COVID-19. However, the country’s experience has not been without controversy. A significant proportion of cases were publicly attributed to a controversial religious congregation, and the authorities’ dealings with its members raise questions about compliance with a number of human rights.

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States of Emergency without Rule of Law: The Case of Venezuela

Nicolás Maduro, who still holds the presidency, declared a state of alarm on March 13, 2020, invoking the need to counter the pandemic. However, the corresponding decree not only contradicts the constitutional provisions for states of exception but is also being employed to impose abusive limitations on human rights, to aggravate political repression and persecution, to blur the seriousness of certain socio-economic problems, and to contain social protests. The absence of judicial and parliamentary controls that could counteract these excesses of power has resulted in an autocratic shift within a context that was already authoritarian.

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Nigeria’s Emergency (Legal) Response to COVID-19: A Worthy Sacrifice for Public Health?

Like many other countries across the world, Nigeria has called upon emergency powers to deal with COVID-19 without, however, having declared a state of emergency. The use of emergency powers in Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19 is not only peculiar but problematic for a number of reasons.

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Human Rights – The Essential Frame of Reference in the Global Response to COVID-19

It is mistaken to conceive of COVID-19 principally as a threat whose eradication necessarily requires rights to be sacrificed. Rather, human rights standards and principles offer a means of transparently balancing competing interests and priorities in the cauldron of COVID-19 decision-making – and rights-respecting measures which secure public confidence are likely to be more effective and sustainable over time than arbitrary or repressive ones.

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Viet Nam: When Non-Emergency Measures Equal Emergency Measures

In Viet Nam, Wthe ‘state of emergency’ clauses are virtually a repetition of measures the government may take when there is no emergency. This means that were the government to declare a state of emergency there would be no reserving policy space for the government to fall back to. Viet Nam should thus seize the opportunity to revise its legislation and clearly distinguish between emergency and non-emergency measure, both in terms of degree and scope.

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Dissecting Covid-19 Derogations

Does the pandemic require derogation from human rights treaties? This question has sparked significant debate, notably spurred by Alan Greene’s provocative argument that failing to derogate would denature ordinary human rights law and leave the start and end points of the crisis unclear. Others disagree: Scheinin argues the principle of normalcy, contained in General Comment […]

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COVID-19 and the Need for a Holistic and Integral Approach to Human Rights Protection

While the pandemic is global, the challenges the individual regions are currently facing in their combat against COVID-19 are different and specific. In Latin America, the combat is embedded in a context of deep social and economic inequality, systematic violence and poverty. As the crisis is likely to exacerbate these structural inequalities it is clear that its implications must be examined in the light of human rights and in the light of intersectionality.

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Hong Kong’s Basic Law at 30: A Constitutional Experiment under Stress

On April 4, 2020, the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HK Basic Law) turned 30. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has been and continues to be confronted with many challenges, including those concerned with the implementation of the HK Basic Law. Ultimately, it will depend on the Chinese Central Authorities and the Hong Kong institutions if the HK Basic Law is to remain the centrepiece in the governance of Hong Kong.

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Before it Spreads “Like Wildfire”: Prisoners’ Rights in the Time of COVID-19

There are more than 10.7 million people imprisoned throughout the world. Prisons are notorious incubators and amplifiers of infections, and the fear among inmates due to COVID-19 is deepening all across the world (France, UK, US and Australia among many others). During the current pandemic, protecting prisons from the ‘tidal wave of COVID-19’ proves to be a challenging issue for States. After all, they have obligations and duties under international law to safeguard the human rights of prisoners, particularly their right to life, health and human treatment.

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More than just ,Protecting Veterans’

On 18 March the UK Minister for Defence Ben Wallace introduced into the UK Parliament its promised package of new legislation designed to ‘protect veterans’. the proposed laws would amend the UK’s Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) in a number of ways that impact on its human rights obligations under international law, particularly treaty commitments under the ECHR.

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