IALS/WFD Digital Conference: Are emergency measures in response to COVID-19 a threat to democracy? Fact and Fiction.

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, over 100 countries have passed emergency laws or declared states of emergency. The restrictive measures have been accompanied by a worrying narrative about the negative impact of these measures on democratic processes and human rights.
The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) and Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) are co-organizing a digital conference concentrating on the nature of emergency legislation adopted in various countries in response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. The digital conference will be based on the presentation of new research findings. The aim is to amass enough information so that we can begin to tackle this narrative on the basis of factual information rather than assumptions.

Key questions / discussion points:
• Procedures for the adoption of emergency measures by parliaments and executives
• Fast-tracking of legislation by parliaments and executives
• Content, timespan and proportionality of emergency measures
• Drafting aspects of emergency legislation or legislation used for emergency situations
• Areas of expansion of authority of the executive and what safeguards are put in place
• Impact of national emergency legislation on the rule of law, human rights, privacy rights, etc.
• Monitoring and evaluation of impact (post-legislative scrutiny) of emergency legislation or legislation used for emergency situations
• Sectoral, national or comparative case studies 
• Mechanisms to review, amend, limit, or reverse emergency legislation and emergency powers, including review and sunset clauses. 

Author: 
School of Advanced Study
Event date: 
Saturday, 10 October 2020 - 9:00am