WTO Dispute Settlements in the Wake of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Exploring the Possible Benefits and Limits of Contemporary Mechanisms, May 2020,
COVID-19 is a newly discovered disease that has now become a global emergency, not just threatening the life and health of many, but also have the significant impact on the WTO legal order due to the response measures enacted by WTO member states. However, many government do not seem to consider the WTO dispute settlement system as a viable forum for resolving dispute due to the new challenges posed by this epidemic. Based on the design of dispute settlement system as seen today, this Article identifies a series of factors, including two benefits that this system can provide and four issues that may undermine the system’s effectiveness. This Article hopes to provide guidance to WTO members on whether to present a dispute to the WTO.
Both Possible and Improbable - Could COVID-19 Measures Give Rise to Investor-State Disputes?, May 2020,
This article explores the role of investment law and investment arbitration in and after COVID-19 in the context of transnational health policy. This article discusses a technical problem(COVID-19 measures can give rise to investor-state disputes) and explains why most of these claims will not be successful( most COVID-19 measures are covered by defenses). Through a comprehensive survey of measures of 50 jurisdictions, this Article shows that most of these measures are in line with the World Health Organization Regulation. Furthermore, these domestic measures can be subject to a number of international law exceptions, allowing States to justify the potential violations. Nevertheless, this Article identifies a minority of measures that may have the potential to lead to successful claims. Paradoxically, the most problematic measures(such as taxation measures and sovereign debt increase) only indirectly address the pandemic.
Pierre H. Bergeron,
COVID-19, Zoom, and Appellate Oral Argument: Is the Future Virtual?,Winter 2021,
This article focuses on COVID-19’s impact on oral argument. In Part I, it reviews the appellate practice backdrop where oral arguments have been on the decline over the last number of years. Parts II examines the effects of COVID-19 on oral arguments in the appellate room. By exploring writer’s own experience, it concludes that judges and lawyers alike need to learn to appreciate the importance and impact of oral argument on appellate decision making and should incorporate the practice of virtual platforms such as Zoom in an appellate court’s repertorie.
Isabel Bramsen, Anine Hagemann,
The missing sense of peace: diplomatic approachment and virtualization during the COVID-19 lockdown, 2021.3.8,
With the unprecedented COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, many peace diplomatic efforts turned virtual. Based on interviews with parties and mediators involved in the Syrian and Yemeni peace processes, this article analyzes the affordances of virtual and physical meetings respectively. It finds that virtual meetings condition peace diplomacy by broadening accessibility, putting confidentiality at risk, allowing for higher frequency of meetings, often disrupting interaction, but also in some instances equalizing it. The transition to virtual meetingsalso demonstrated what is lost in the absence of physicality: bodily presence, spending longer periods of time together, the possibility of reconciliatory interaction and sharing informal space. Finally, it suggests strategies in virtual diplomacy and discuss how virtual and physical diplomacy may supplement each other.
Thana C De Campos-Rudinsky,
Intellectual property and essential medicines in the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021.3.1,
Global justice theorists have widely discussed how the international intellectual property rights regime (i.e., the TRIPs regime of the WTO) makes it more difficult to achieve the goal of universal access to generic vital COVID-19 treatments. This article argues that while patents can impose certain barriers to universal access to generic COVID-19 treatments, the TRIPs regime itself is an integral part of an equitable global solution to the pandemic. More specifically, it argues that article 31bis of the TRIPs, in allowing for a cooperation strategy predicated on complementary importing and exporting of vital COVID-19 generic treatments, is key for successful pandemic suppression.
Mengliang Dai, Yiwei Xia, Rongxu Han,
The Impact of Lockdown on Police Service Calls During the COVID-19 Pandemic in China, 2021.2.19,
Drawing on the data from a county-level city in Hubei province, this study examines changes in the quantity and nature of 110 service calls before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. The results indicate that the average weekly call numbers before and after the lockdown were higher than during the lockdown. Meanwhile, different call types produced different patterns, though the weekly call totals decreased during the lockdown. There was a significant decrease in crime, traffic, and dispute calls, but a substantial increase in calls related to domestic violence, public security, and other issues.These findings will have implications for deploying police forces and allocating resources within the pandemic crisis in particular.
Taís Fernanda Blauth, Oskar Josef Gstrein,
Data-driven measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in South America: how do regional programmes compare to best practice? 2021.3.1,
This article analyses data-driven measures used in South America to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Based on a broad review of relevant programmes in the region three selected cases from Argentina (Cuidar App), Brazil (use of personal data by IBGE), and Chile (CoronApp) are evaluated against best regional and international practices.While the region is heavily affected by COVID-19, the three case-studies analyzed demonstrate that policy makers in the region failed to establish trust in the measures. This can be deducted from low penetration rates of the programmes in Argentina and Chile.Finally, there are serious concerns regarding the long-term impact of these programmes upon human rights (especially privacy) and human dignity.
Comparative Reflections on COVID-19 Responses: Drafting, Powers, and Interpretation, 2021.3.9,
This article examines comparatively approaches in Hong Kong and English law on powers created by the use of subordinate legislations to combat the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspectives of legislative drafting and statutory interpretation. This article proceeds in three parts. First, it will analyse the responsibilities of drafters in drafting subordinate legislations and the techniques therein. Second, the powers conferred upon law enforcement officers and restrictions on individual liberty under Hong Kong law and English law will be analyzed. Third, approaches to interpreting the relevant legislations under the two jurisdictions will be examined. It will be argued that despite the need to confer wide and flexible powers to the executive to combat the pandemic, specificity of language and precision in articulating these powers remain of cardinal and overarching importance.
Equitable COVID Vaccine Distribution and Access: Enforcing International Legal Obligations under Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the Right to Development, 2021.02.02,
The race to COVID-19 vaccinate is also a race involving moving targets. Although US recently declared its intention to join the WHO-led COVAX facility, the prospects for rapid global distribution of COVID vaccines remain grim. International law has much to say about the ongoing. This post discusses the recent failed attempts in January 2021 by South Africa and India to secure a waiver at the WTO against the usual guarantees of IP protection under the TRIPS, in light of States’ continuing international obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the right to development under both the 1986 Declaration on the Right to Development and the pending draft Convention on the Right to Development.
Feng Jiang, Chuanyu Xie,
Roles of Chinese Police Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020.12.28,
This article provides an overview of frontier issues of policing in China by examining the roles of police during the pandemic. It starts with a short introduction to the challenges and overall performance of China in keeping social order in the context of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Then, it outlines four major missions the Chinese police have pursued, each with a sketch of what has been done and how law enforcement officials have managed to achieve their goals. It follows with a further insight into their strategies in social control in connection with the latest reforms on policing. Finally, it concludes briefly with features of Chinese policing.
Beijing Interest Group on Global Health and Global Governance