Covid-19 and Law




PI or Contact

User attitudes towards digital Covid-19 measures

We are fielding a survey on Dutch citizen’s attitudes towards digital Covid-19-measures, such as the much discussed contact tracking apps, privacy and other concerns, trust in government and democratic safeguards, as well as more general compliance and information sources.

Survey and normative assessment

Natali Helberger
Claes de Vreese

The Disinformation Pandemic: Upcoming UvA Study on the Legal Framework on Disinformation

The Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam completed a study considering these questions on disinformation. The study, commissioned by the Dutch government, focusses on the legal framework governing the dissemination of disinformation, in particular through Internet services. The study provides an extensive overview of relevant European and Dutch legal norms relating to the spread of online disinformation, and recommendations are given on how to improve this framework. The study is being sent to the Dutch parliament, and while delayed due to the current health emergency, a number of main points are helpful to understand the policy options available to address the current spread of disinformation on the Covid-19 virus

Legal & policy research, comparative research

Joris van Hoboken
Natali Helberger
Mireille van Eechoud

EU Constitutional Order for Responding to Human Health Disasters

In this project the aim is to empirically map, and normatively evaluate the European constitutional order for responding to human health disasters.
Today, as we have seen with Covid19, pathogens emerge more frequently and can travel faster than at any other time in history. Most Constitutions have specific rules for such emergencies. Rules that limit the possibility to use the exceptional situation to justify the unbridled exercise of public power and fundamental rights infringements. Also at international level there are specific fundamental rights instruments that limit the boundless continuation of a state of emergency. In contrast, the EU has no explicit constitutional emergency regime in place, while it is de facto and de jure, expanding its power for responding to health disasters.

The research combines qualitative research methods with a normative legal analysis, for which an innovative legal framework is developed, zooming in on the legal principles of precaution. solidarity, proportionality and the rule of law.
This framework is based on a comparison of Member States constitutional provisions for emergencies, the available EU and international (WHO) law and fundamental rights. Using the empirical findings, the research will normatively assess the current law and practice, outline gaps, and propose legal improvements that may guide future changes of EU law.

Anniek de Ruijter

Solidarity and Institutional Design (ACES- UvA RPA grant)

The project on solidarity and institutional design studies the feasibility of cross-border European solidarity in the socio-economic domain, with an emphasis on its institutional architecture. It studies two salient cases, one of which is on the joint procurement of medicines. In the area of emergency medicine and medical equipment procurement at EU level there is a need for new policy that is likely to meet resistance and which requires willingness of national policymakers to implement such schemes. The project will combine insights from economics, law, and political science.

We combine legal analysis, policy analysis and economic analysis with a conjoint study on Attitudes towards European reforms: Conjoint Experiments on Joint Pharmaceutical Procurement. The conjoint experiment, is carried out by IPSOS on behalf of our interdisciplinary team. The survey aims at testing attitudes towards joint pharmaceutics procurement in face of pandemics. We model the different pharmaceutical procurement schemes across three dimensions. The survey is carried out in 5 countries: IT, DE, NL, ES, FR. The countries have been selected to ensure variation in (1) welfare state models, (2) economic performance in the past 10 years, (3) long-term position vis-à-vis EU budget, (4) geographical location. The full survey will include 2000 respondents in each country.

Anniek de Ruijter

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