Research round-up: including responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

All the latest critical comment, expertise and legal research output from Kent Law School academics (including responses to the COVID-19 pandemic)

March 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • International Economic Law and COVID-19: an article by the IEL Collective (which includes Dr Luis Eslava and Professor Donatella Alessandrini). The first in  a new series reimagining IEL
  • In a post for Critical Legal Thinking called ‘A Corona Utopia in Three Parts‘, PhD scholar Moritz Neugebauer says: “Whether in denial, panic or pragmatism, we in Europe are all on the run. But we aren’t even on the run together; rather, we have largely been abandoned to sustain our livelihoods, develop new social forms that are appropriate to quarantined life, and imagine the other side of this pandemic all by ourselves.”
  • Blog post: Covid 19 – The UK’s criminal lack of compassion and leadership by Dr Alan McKenna
  • A few thoughts on panic-buying by @RegulatingTime on Twitter. Regulating Time is a research network on law, regulation, and time run by Professor Emily Grabham and Sian Beynon-Jones (University of York)
  • Big Saturday Read: In a post entitled In the shadow of COVID-19Dr Alex Magaisa says: ‘The great literary giant, Chinua Achebe once wrote, “When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool”‘. Dr Magaisa provides cutting-edge analysis and critical insights into Zimbabwean law and politics every Saturday on his blog, the Big Saturday Read (BSR). He’s also a regular tweeter on these topics, with a huge following of more than 286k
  • In an interview for the Irish Times about the use of ‘extreme powers’ by the Irish Government/Garda (police) to tackle the Coronavirus, Professor Dermot Walsh says: ‘It should be relatively easy to enact legislation allowing the immigration and airport powers to extend to checking persons for the virus’
  • Professor Dermot Walsh was interviewed by The Irish Times for an article asking whether Ireland could towns under lockdown if coronavirus arrives. Professor Walsh told the paper that the threat posed by the coronavirus represents “a wholly novel situation for which there is no bespoke legislation in place”
  • Following the introduction of new economic measures by the Government to help mitigate the impact of Covid-19 in the UK, Kent Law Clinic Solicitor Sheona York says more must be done for people on time-limited visas and for ‘illegal’ immigrants
  • IEL Collective Conversations: Luis Eslava and Tara Van Ho on IEL and COVID-19Luis Eslava and Tara Van Ho (Essex Law & Human Rights Centre) discuss two issues stemming from the intersection of international economic law and the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • IEL Collective Conversations: COVID 19, foreign direct investment, and global economic law Luis Eslava, Celine Tan (Warwick Law) and Tara Van Ho (Essex Law & Human Rights) discuss how the European Commission’s response to COVID-19 affects and implicates international economic law.
  • Covid-19 and the benign police state: The extraordinary measures being introduced in Ireland and the UK to combat the threats posed by the Covid-19 virus are exceptional by any standard. While they may be deemed necessary and even desirable in the interests of all, they have police state characteristics which need to be scrutinised closely – Criminal Justice Notes: Professor Dermot Walsh
  • Supplement on The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) 2020: Professor Walsh critically interrogates the key provisions of the UK’s new Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 (issued on Thursday) and asks: ‘Given the nature and extent of the restrictions, requirements and police powers under the Regulations, there must be a question whether they are compatible with the UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)’ – Criminal Justice Notes: Professor Dermot Walsh
  • Life after coronavirus: workers’ rights: In an article for Stylist, Professor Lydia Hayes describes coronavirus as “a leveller” in terms of workers rights in the UK, putting “inequality into sharp relief”
  • We are Daniel Blake: In response to the issues facing people across the UK as they attempt to access benefits during the COVID-19 crisis, Kent Law Clinic Director Graham Tegg says the Benefits systems must adapt now to COVID-19
  • Benefits systems must adapt now to #COVID19: Kent Law Cliic Director Graham Tegg says: ‘In all the years I have practiced in the field of welfare benefits… the plight of people destitute and desperate to access welfare, has never been so urgent. And In an interview with BBC Radio Kent, he calls for proactivity & says the Government needs to suspend its verification framework so payments can be made quicker: “this is an emergency” – listen again.

KLS articles, books, blogs & expert contributions

  • Decriminalising Abortion in the UK: A new book co-edited by Professor Sally Sheldon & Professor Kaye Wellings (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), offers a critical, expert analysis of the likely impact of Decriminalising Abortion in the UK. The book, published last week by Policy Press, is available Open Access
  • The Ambivalence of Law: Some Observations on the Denial of Access to Abortion Services in Italy‘: KLS PhD scholar Elena Caruso writes about abortion in Ireland for the online journal Feminist Review
  • Value-capture, Development and Social Reproduction in International Trade Law: In a post for Verfassungsblog, Professor Donatella Alessandrini draws from anti-capitalist and post-colonial feminist studies to address the co-existence of technological upgrade and social downgrade in value chain capitalism
  • On Principles for Decolonial researchReflections on ‘love’ by the ‘colonized colonizer’– An article for The Sociological Review by KLS PhD scholar Ahmed Raza Memon
  • Universal Credit: Dr Ruth Cain appeared before the House of Lords Economics Affairs Committee to give expert evidence on the economics of Universal Credit.
  • The European Arrest Warrant and the double criminality rule: In a decision a few weeks ago, the CJEU, sitting as a Grand Chamber, curbed the capacity of the State to apply a change in its criminal law in a manner that would deprive a person of double criminality protection under the European Arrest Warrant regime. It could have implications for the extraordinary Bailey case which is back in the Irish courts again – Criminal Justice Notes: Professor Dermot Walsh
  • Early release of terrorist offenders– The Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Act 2020 has garnered widespread public support, but there is room to question whether it is an effective and appropriate response to the threat it is intended to address – Criminal Justice Notes: Professor Dermot Walsh
  • Police retention of biometric data– In its recent decision in Gaughern v United Kingdom (13th February 2020), the First Section of the European Court of Human Rights held that a policy of retaining a convicted person’s DNA profile, fingerprints and photograph on a police database (Northern Ireland) is a breach of the person’s right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights – Criminal Justice Notes: Professor Dermot Walsh

KLS research grants

  • Dr Sara Kendall is part of a team awarded $299,999 by the US National Science Foundation to critically research the use and proliferation of geospatial technologies in judicial investigations of international crimes and human rights violations.The three-year project, entitled ‘Geospatial Technologies, Justice and Evidentiary Procedure’, will be conducted on three continents

KLS research papers