COVID-19 — Test for the World's Legal Systems

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has not only become a global health and economic challenge but has also raised the questions of the sufficiency of emergency regulations at the international and national levels and the selection of the most effective response measures. What regulation has been applied to the COVID-19 pandemic at the international, regional, and national levels in various States? How has such legislation evolved in the context of the pandemic? What measures have been introduced to support organizations and citizens as well as to prevent the spread of the virus and mitigate the consequences of the pandemic? The new ICLRC research answers these questions and its results can be used to improve existing regulation, introduce the best approaches and practices for the prevention and response to emergencies, including in the health sector, in the future.

The key conclusions
At the universal and regional levels, including within the framework of the EAEU, there is no detailed regulation of relations arising in connection with emergency situations. The creation of relevant international regulations or guidelines would have allowed States to make decisions more quickly and in a more balanced manner.

A common feature of the legislation of all the examined States is the possibility of introducing special legal regimes in the event of an emergency. Special legislation providing for regulation in the case of the spread of infectious diseases specifically was adopted in a number of States before the COVID-19 pandemic and during it and has proved to be necessary.

The decentralization of decision-making and the risk-based approach can provide the most effective response to emergency situations such as COVID-19.

States should be able to exercise judicial control over compliance with the criteria of necessity and proportionality when imposing restrictive measures.

In general, Russia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is in line with the global approaches both in the field of regulation and in the context of specific measures to support the population and organizations and counter the spread of the virus.