THE DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR SERIES Law And Humanities in a Pandemic: Pandemic Planning, Models And Regimes Of The Body

Masking Then and Masking Now: Compliance and Resistance during the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic
David Carter, University of Technology Sydney 
Mark De Vitis, University of Sydney

The 1918-19 influenza pandemic - or ‘Spanish Flu’- ranks as one of the deadliest disease events in human history. The 1918-19 experience informs contemporary pandemic planning and has aided interpretation of COVID-19. Yet, little critical attention has been paid to the ‘real world’ experience of intense legal and regulatory activity during 1918-19. This paper focuses on one key regulatory strategy – compulsory face masking. Focusing on Australia, which mounted a world-leading response to the pandemic, we demonstrate how the reception of regulations were forged by established cultural practices like regimes of dress and fashion. We establish how the histories of the 1918-19 experience might aid decision making in response to COVID-19.

Models and Lawmaking: Knowledge, Trust and Authority in a Pandemic
Ting Xu, University of Essex

Epidemiological models played a key role in persuading the British government to implement lockdown to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. The entanglements between models and lawmaking in the pandemic shows that lawmaking is being increasingly influenced by knowledge produced in other disciplines and by other groups of experts. This article reviews the ways in which models have been used in lawmaking, and focuses on the pros and cons of the reliance on models in lawmaking in a pandemic. In so doing, it provokes a rethinking of the nature and function of knowledge, trust and authority in a pandemic.

This session is part of the IALS DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR SERIES Law And Humanities in a Pandemic

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
David Carter (University of Technology Sydney), Mark De Vitis (University of Sydney) and Ting Xu (University of Essex)
Event date: 
Wednesday, 17 February 2021 - 12:00pm