Building upon analogies from counter-terrorism, this talk will look beyond the emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, marked by exponential growth of the epidemic and also many human rights violations, both failures under positive obligations and disproportionate restrictions in the name of protecting public health. Instead, the talk will focus on how to restore normalcy in the post-emergency phase while remaining vigilant about the continuing threat posed by SARS-CoV-2. A human-rights-based checklist for national (or other) strategies will be elaborated. While many of its elements are specific to the virological and epidemiological characteristics of SARS-CoV- 2, the lessons of COVID-19 will have lasting impact towards global preparedness for new epidemics.
Professor Martin Scheinin is a British Academy Global Professor at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford. He will arive from the European University Institute where he has been Professor of International Law and Human Rights since 2008. He is the author numerous books and articles concerning international and European human rights law, international courts and tribunals, the law of treaties, as well as comparative constitutional law. He was the leader of the EU-funded research project SURVEILLE that in 2012-2015 which developed a multidisciplinary methodology for the holistic assessment of the security benefit, cost efficiency, moral harm and human rights intrusion of a wide range of surveillance technologies, including in the context of the threat of terrorism. Besides his academic expertise, he will bring to the Bonavero Institute his long experience from the practice of human rights law, having served on the United Nations Human Rights Committee (1997-2004), as UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism (2005-2011) and as member of the Scientific Committee of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (since 2018).