CALL FOR PAPERS: Are emergency measures in response to COVID-19 a threat to democracy? Fact and Fiction

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 research findings, and we welcome papers on national measures (emergency legislation) with a view to establishing, discussing and testing different sets of criteria of democracy and its processes. 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. 

Papers may focus on one or more of the following topics (indicative): 

  • 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 measuresDrafting 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 the national emergency legislation on the rule of law, human rights, privacy rights and others
  •  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.

Paper abstracts (between 300 and 400 words, in English) and accompanying documents can be submitted to before 30 June 2020.

Download Call for Papers (PDF)