The pandemic paradox in international law

Presented by ANU College of Law

UPDATE: The event has been rescheduled to Tuesday 27 October, 6-7.30pm.

COVID-19 has given rise to a series of challenges in international law intersecting with patriotism, borders and equality. These paradoxes have rendered the international legal order's mechanisms for collective action powerless precisely when they are most needed to fight the pandemic. The 'patriotism paradox' is that disengagement from the international legal order weakens rather than strengthens state sovereignty. The 'border paradox' is that securing domestic populations by excluding non-citizens, in the absence of regulatory mechanisms to secure adherence to internal health measures, accelerates viral spread among citizens. The 'equality paradox' is that while pandemics pose an equal threat to all people, their impacts compound existing inequalities.

Join us as we explore these issues with Professor Hilary Charlesworth AM, FAAL, FASSA (University of Melbourne, ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance); Associate Professor Jeremy Farrall and Dr Imogen Saunders (ANU College of Law); and moderator Professor Anthea Roberts (ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance).

This event will examine the contours and consequences of these paradoxes and discuss how international law and legal institutions can navigate populist-driven threats. This virtual discussion draws on an upcoming article to be published in The American Journal of International Law in October 2020 co-authored by two of our panellists - Dr Imogen Saunders and Associate Professor Jeremy Farrall - as well as Professor Peter G. Danchin (University of Maryland) and Professor Shruti Rana (Indiana University Bloomington), as part of the ANU Global Research Partnerships Project 'Navigating the Backlash against Global Law and Institutions'. Read the article via SSRN here.