When and on which legal bases can governments be held responsible for the way they face the COVID-19 pandemic? Is the declaration of state of emergency a necessary condition to exercise certain powers? To what extent can decision-making powers and competences be challenged within an emergency context?
Even when the existence of such powers is not challenged, how do judges assess the discretion exercised by governments? Are fundamental rights (to health and other rights and freedoms) criteria within the judicial assessment of governmental decisions? Do judges strike a balance between the (fundamental) right to health and other (fundamental) rights and freedom? How?
And again, how do Courts ensure that governmental police power respects human rights? Which remedies are available when abuse of powers or wrong balancing is carried? Do the available remedies change depending on whether the claimant is a public institution or a private party? To what extent can private or public parties rely on emergency regulations when enforcing contracts or disputing liabilities? Is the declaration of state of emergency a necessary condition to exercise certain powers? When can individuals or organizations claim compensation for losses due to the pandemic and not allegedly mitigated by governments?
To answer questions like these, the Covid-19 Litigation Project traces the litigation stemming all over the world from challenges related with public health measures adopted within the pandemic The ultimate objective is to allow public and private stakeholders to access an open-access database with the main decisions issued in these contexts. Consultation is open to individuals and institutions, including governments, judges, lawyers, legal practitioners and scholars. To find out more, visit the Covid-19 Litigation Project website.