103. 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, https://academic.oup.com/idpl/advance-article/doi/10.1093/idpl/ipab002/6154558?searchresult=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.

102. Thomas Yeon, Comparative Reflections on COVID-19 Responses: Drafting, Powers, and Interpretation, 2021.3.9, https://academic.oup.com/slr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/slr/hmab009/6163046?searchresult=1 . 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.

101. Diane Desierto, Equitable COVID Vaccine Distribution and Access: Enforcing International Legal Obligations under Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the Right to Development, 2021.02.02, https://www.ejiltalk.org/equitable-covid-vaccine-distribution-and-access-enforcing-international-legal-obligations-under-economic-social-and-cultural-rights-and-the-right-to-development/ . 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.

100. Feng Jiang, Chuanyu Xie, Roles of Chinese Police Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020.12.28, https://academic.oup.com/policing/article/14/4/1127/6054277?searchresult=1 . 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.

99. Marco Almada, Juliano Maranhão, Voice-based diagnosis of covid-19: ethical and legal challenges, 2021.01.28, https://academic.oup.com/idpl/advance-article/doi/10.1093/idpl/ipab004/6124901?searchresult=1 . Ongoing research projects seek to diagnose Covid-19 and severe respiratory insufficiency through the analysis of voice recordings. The voice recordings may also be used to infer information about various personal traits.The deployment of such apps may promote significant benefits in the context of a pandemic; those benefits, however, must be evaluated in light of the ethical and data protection concerns mapped in this article.

98. Shen Kui, The Stumbling Balance between Public Health and Privacy amid the Pandemic in China, 2021.02.01, https://academic.oup.com/cjcl/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cjcl/cxaa035/6125306?searchresult=1 . In China, to fight against COVID-19, a variety of high- and low-tech methods have been applied to monitor people confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 and their close contacts. Such mass monitoring may have the effect of containing and managing the pandemic, but it has brought about prevalent concerns of privacy. There are three factors that have caused these balancing efforts to falter. The first factor is the lack of strong and solid legal foundations to authorize and control the surveillance. The second factor is the huge social mobilization. The third factor is the collectivist thinking and obedience to the authority that is deeply entrenched in Chinese culture. To get rid of these handicaps in a short time and to strengthen privacy would be an extravagant hope. However, a landmark piece of legislation on privacy and personal information protection and other supporting regulations in the near future are what we need most. In any event, the current surveillance should not be a ‘new normal’.

97. André Janssen, Christian Johannes Wahnschaffe, COVID-19 and international sale contracts: unprecedented grounds for exemption or business as usual? 2021.02.02, https://academic.oup.com/ulr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ulr/unaa026/6126398?searchresult=1 . The year 2020 has witnessed a health crisis of unparalleled dimensions. Through restrictions on economic activities and disruptions in supply chains, COVID-19 has severely impeded global trade. Among the ensuing problems, the question of excusing a party’s failure to perform its contractual obligations is of key interest. This contribution analyses the conditions for exemption from liability with view to contracts for the international sale of goods subject to the 1980 CISG. It revisits the statutory requirements and illustrates COVID-19 scenarios that might satisfy the relevant thresholds. This article further examines the particular legal consequences following from an exemption from liability. Finally, this contribution addresses the newly revised ICC’s clauses on force majeure and hardship.

96. Eloise Scotford, Rethinking Clean Air: Air Quality Law and COVID-19, 2020.11.01, https://academic.oup.com/jel/article/32/3/349/5989812?searchresult=1 . Air quality has long been a serious health problem caused by industrialization and urbanization. It has also been a very difficult policy and regulatory problem to address.The pandemic sheds these air quality law challenges in a new light. It is a public health crisis with many links to air quality. Responding to the pandemic has involved bold regulatory experiments, heavily restricting behaviors that are prime causes of urban nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution in particular. Above all, the pandemic has increased the profile of air quality as a social problem to address, creating a moment to rethink this problem and what we might do about it.

95. Yaniv Heled, Ana Santos Rutschman, Liza Vertinsky, The problem with relying on profit-driven models to produce pandemic drugs, 2020.08.06, https://academic.oup.com/jlb/article/7/1/lsaa060/5882039?searchresult=1 . This article explains why profit-driven models for developing treatments for epidemic pathogens produce sub-optimal and sometimes negative public health outcomes. Using the example of the drug remdesivir, it demonstrates how the divergence of private incentives from public health needs has led to such outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article concludes that policy responses to this and future pandemics ought to be conceived and designed in ways that narrow the divergence of private interests from public health needs, including through greater public-sector involvement in pharmaceutical R&D.

94. Karl Stoeger, Martina Schmidhuber, The use of data from electronic health records in times of a pandemic—a legal and ethical assessment, 2020.06.16, https://academic.oup.com/jlb/article/7/1/lsaa041/5856456?searchresult=1 . National electronic health record systems are becoming increasingly common. During a pandemic, data stored in such records could be used by health authorities to identify persons with a particular health risk. In this contribution, the authors focus on the question whether such state access to data could be disadvantageous to a person’s state of health in the long run. It follows that, even in times of a pandemic, access to personal data stored in patient-controlled health records should be used as a last resort only.

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