A Pledge for the Importance of Comparative Law in the Ongoing COVID Pandemic (and Beyond)

I recently attended a meeting on “Comparative Law and the COVID-19 Pandemic” organized by the International Association of Legal Science. The presenters highlighted different local and regional reactions to the global pandemic. For me, these presentations emphasized that countries responded (and are still responding) to the global health threat with highly individualistic legal measures.

From a strictly political perspective, this makes perfect sense: there is an external threat to national security to which the government reacts with isolationism – which is reasonable in the short term. Now that the pandemic has been around for almost two years, however, I believe that it is time to reconsider this approach. In fact, thanks to social media, citizens have cooperated and mobilized across country borders. Hence, I think, it is time for governments to stop trying to reinvent the wheel and to start looking beyond their territorial lines. In other words, globalization makes it essential for legislators to get inspired by their neighbors and to cooperate internationally.

Comparative law could be an important tool for such legal cooperation. Thus, comparative law points out legal synergies while at the same time taking legal singularities and cultures into consideration. The importance of comparative law is true not only for regulations dealing with the current pandemic, but also for other issues of global implications, including legislation on climate change. My hope is that governments and legislators will recognize the increasing relevance of comparative law for solving issues that may have an impact on the future of our global society and our planet.

Sources

Contributions to Zoom Webinar on “Comparative Law and the COVID-19 Pandemic”, in particular by

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