UCL leads global project mapping legal responses to Covid-19

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UCL is leading a vast international collaboration bringing together legal scholars across the world to understand and compare national legal responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project, titled Lex-Atlas: Covid-19 (LAC19) jointly led by UCL, Kings College London and the Max Planck Institute of Comparative Public Law and International Law, seeks to provide unprecedented analysis of legal responses to Covid-19 in over 60 countries representing a diversity of regions, income and inequality levels, legal systems and political regime-type.  

Each country report will address the legal framework, institutional performance, public health measures, social and labour policy, and measures relating to human rights and the protection of vulnerable groups.  The reports will be updated across 2021 as the national responses to the pandemic evolve.

LAC19, which is generously funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, will be a vital source of information for policymakers and political leaders to assess the effectiveness and propriety of responses to Covid-19 as well as to prepare for future global health emergencies.

LAC19 is working with Oxford University Press to publish the first 22 country reports open-access in mid-February 2021. Ultimately, the research will result in over 60 comprehensive national reports, an online database, and a final report due to be finalised in the late-Autumn 2021.

The project is led by two principle investigators: Professor Jeff King, UCL Faculty of Laws and Associate Professor Octavio Ferraz, King’s College London, Dickson Poon School of Law.  The project is guided by a fourteen person editorial committee that includes renowned legal scholars from around the world.  Professor Nicola Countouris, Dr Silvia Suteu, and Dr Michael Veale (all of UCL Laws) also sit on the editorial committee and are responsible for labour law, gender and digital privacy respectively.  LAC19 is furthermore collaborating with UCL Health of the Public and Professor Dame Anne Johnson to refine the research design.

Commenting on the project, Professor King said: "The key to this project’s promise is the extent of collaboration and careful coordination between distinguished legal experts across the world, both in the country author-teams and the editorial committee. Every country report answers a common and comprehensive set of questions.  And each country team undertakes to update the resource as the picture evolves."

Professor Dame Hazel Genn, UCL Vice-Provost International & Advancement and LAC19 Scientific Advisory Board member, said: "UCL is committed to bringing together intellectual capital to find innovative and workable solutions to global health problems. The LAC19 project will bring together a wealth of knowledge from across the globe to describe the wide range of legal measures to deal with Covid-19 and evaluate the impacts of different practices. This will be a huge resource for future responses to global health emergencies."


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