107. Pierre H. Bergeron, COVID-19, Zoom, and Appellate Oral Argument: Is the Future Virtual?,Winter 2021, https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/jappp21&id=198&men_tab=srchresults# . 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.

106. Isabel Bramsen, Anine Hagemann, The missing sense of peace: diplomatic approachment and virtualization during the COVID-19 lockdown, 2021.3.8, https://academic.oup.com/ia/article/97/2/539/6137451?searchresult=1 . 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.

105. Thana C De Campos-Rudinsky, Intellectual property and essential medicines in the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021.3.1, https://academic.oup.com/ia/article/97/2/523/6130201?searchresult=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.

104. Mengliang Dai, Yiwei Xia, Rongxu Han, The Impact of Lockdown on Police Service Calls During the COVID-19 Pandemic in China, 2021.2.19, https://academic.oup.com/policing/advance-article/doi/10.1093/police/paab007/6144797?searchresult=1 . 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.

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’.

Beijing Interest Group on Global Health and Global Governance
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