COVID 19 and Constitutional Law in a Global Perspective

José Maria Serna’s talk on “COVID19 and Constitutional Law in a Global Perspective” consists of a series of reflections derived from an analysis of the different essays that make up the book “COVID19 and Constitutional Law” of which he was coordinator. The idea of this book was to produce a testimony of how states of different parts of the world have responded to the COVID19 crisis, from the constitutional point of view. Thus, scholars of 26 countries were invited to submit a short commentary on which constitutional issues are of concern in their part of the world, in the context of the pandemic.

The coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID19) has affected many aspects of our lives, in many ways, all over the world. Public authorities in most countries have been taking a series of measures which they have deemed necessary to prevent or control the spread of the disease. Most of those measures correspond, not to the “normal” day-to-day management of public affairs, but to a situation of “emergency”. In this way, the mobility of people has been severely restricted; in some instances, public force has been used to implement these and other restrictions; schools have had to suspend classes; some public health services seem to have reached such a critical point and overload that they did not have the capacity to treat and protect everybody; businesses have been ordered to suspend their activities until further notice; elections have been postponed; institutions for disaster management have been put at work; unemployment, food and water insecurity have raised. Moreover, the normal relationships and interactions between branches of government and between the different levels of government in federal and decentralized states have been altered. These and many other phenomena that are happening around the world in the middle of the pandemic crisis have constitutional implications, some of which will be addressed in José Maria Serna’s talk.

José Ma. Serna de la Garza is a Researcher at the Institute of Legal Research and Professor at the Law School, both of the National University of Mexico. He was a visiting professor at the Law School of the University of Texas (at Austin), and a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. He is president to the Mexican section of the Ibero-American Institute of Constitutional Law. He holds a PhD in Government (University of Essex) and a PhD in Law (National University of Mexico).

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This is the third event of the CECS seminar series: Global, European, constitutional and legal cultural perspectives on pandemics / Covid19 - SPRING 2021. See the list of all the seminars here.