National Health Policy and Health Rights
Panel formed with individual proposals.
COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes in everyday life, but also to the electoral process. Some adaptations of the electoral process were clearly needed in order to preserve public health from the virus. Even in pandemic, the electoral process must be voter-friendly, accessible and inclusive. Even in such circumstances, the voters must not be discouraged from voting because they see the vote as unnecessary risk. Balancing between health protection and democratic elections also posed a challenge to the electoral campaign and influenced the manner of campaigning, which increased the spending of candidates. This paper will analyze the effect of Covid-19 on the parliamentary elections in North Macedonia in 2020, focusing on the changes on the electoral rules and the electoral campaigning because of COVID-19, as well as the influence of COVID-19 on the turnout of voters.
Non-legislated right to health in the Indian Supreme Court (ISC) is still situated between non-justiciability and weak substantive rights. Neither did COVID-19 pandemic bring a substantive change, however, it did push the dialogic review to its limits, namely ISC was demonstrably categorical when it could act upon existing political will and assurances, issued strict interim orders, before pushed to reverse/modify them facing strong objections and disproved of policy with a strong rights language though with only a recommendation to revise it. Such diversity of judicial approaches, especially coexistence of categorical interim orders without rights analysis and extensively reasoned weak remedies seems counterintuitive at once, especially considering often similar influence over the political processes. Reflecting upon the pre- and post-pandemic health rights jurisprudence of ISC, and in light of SoP theory, this paper offers plausible explanations for such a peculiar order of things.
What is the role of high courts in society during emergency times? According to traditional theory of judicial review, courts are expected to safeguard the rule of law, defend fundamental constitutional principles, protect individual rights and guarantee the orderly function of democratic processes. All these traditional functions may be at stake in the wake of a major event such as the coronavirus crisis. I seek to review the reaction of the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) to the social and political pressures created by the spread of the virus in Israel. The HCJ is regarded as a strong and interventionist judicial institution. Critics argue, however, that the degree of supervision exerted by the HCJ over both the Israeli bureaucracy and the political branches goes way beyond the traditional role of the judiciary, as envisioned by theorist of judicial review. My aim is to use this analysis of judicial review during the coronavirus times as a test the validity of this creitique.
This paper is submitted in my capacity of scientific co-editor of a voluminous book that has been published in French in February 2022 and which describes and analyses the Belgian State's response to the covid-19 pandemic: F. Bouhon, E. Slautsky and S. Wattier, Le droit public belge face à la crise de covid-19 [Belgian public law and the covid-19 pandemic], Brussels, Larcier, 1084 pages). It is offered to present the main findings of this book in order to open to a comparative discussion with panel members who have observed the management of the pandemic in other states. The main issues that will be addressed are the following ones: absence of the notion of a state of emergency in the Belgian constitution - challenge for the distribution of powers within the federal state - reinforcement of the government - strong contestation of the legal basis for the measures adopted in order to contain the pandemic and of their proportionality.