U.N. Agencies, O’Neill Institute Establish COVID-19 Law Lab To Gather, Track Laws Related To Pandemic

Devex: Policing in a pandemic: Law matters in the COVID-19 response
“…The legal enforcement of coronavirus restrictions serves as a reminder of how the law can help or hinder the public health response. The misuse of criminal law can damage trust in government services, creating disastrous results for public health, experts told Devex. So how can countries facing a public health crisis enforce the law while also protecting the well-being of their citizens and adhering to international human rights standards? A new initiative aims to collect legal documents from the coronavirus response to learn from the laws that were implemented and ensure more effective ones going forward. On Wednesday, a range of partners — including the United Nations Development Programme, World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University — launched the COVID-19 Law Lab…” (Cheney, 7/23).

VOA News: WHO Establishes COVID-19 Law Lab With Georgetown University
“…At the WHO COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the law lab database consists of the laws that countries have implemented in response to the pandemic, including state of emergency declarations, quarantine measures, disease surveillance, mask guidelines, physical distancing, and access to medications and vaccines. He said the law lab will also contain research on legal frameworks for COVID-19 and analysis on the impact of public health laws. The database is designed to provide nations with guidelines for best practices when crafting legal responses to the pandemic…” (7/23).

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