Webinar: Trick or treat? Why do legal responses to Covid-19 differ across Europe?

Date, time: 30 April 2020, 19.00-20.00

As the Covid-19 virus spread across the globe, European counties have adopted different legislative approaches to effectively combat the pandemic. Citing the need for rapid decision-making, governments have imposed extraordinary measures – and incidentally gained significant new powers.  Some countries have adopted measures that severely restrict the freedom of the population, or that are long-lasting, or even indefinite.

While some human rights limitations may be necessary, the measures adopted during these times should not exceed neither the scale nor the duration needed to combat the coronavirus. Careful monitoring is crucial in this situation to prevent the extraordinary powers from being misused.

With Poland, Hungary, France and Norway as our main focal points, Adam Bodnar (Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Poland and 2018 Rafto laureate), Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez (Professor of Law, Université Paris Nanterre), Eirik Holmøyvik (Professor of Law at UiB, and member of the Venice Commission) and Alida Steigler (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest and LawTransform) will discuss why in the European context, such different legal approaches were brought to life in order to handle the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will be chaired by Siri Gloppen (LawTransform Director and Professor of Comparative Politics UiB).

All are welcome to attend!


19.00-19.05 Introduction

19.05-19.50 Panel discussion

19.50-20.00 Q&A (Please feel free to send questions in the Zoom chat during the event.)

Join the webinar on Zoom: https://uib.zoom.us/j/67336576940?pwd=Yjd6bmtYMkFKby9qTTBQdXkxbmRkUT09   

or watch it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD6cieC9zmTlV1_YDWLlzbg

More information about the panel:

Dr. Adam Bodnar was appointed to the post of Commissioner for Human Rights at head of the Polish Ombudsman in 2015. He was previously associated with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, and the UN Fund for the Victims of Torture. Bodnar was awarded the Rafto Price in 2018.

Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez is a Professor at the University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, where she teaches Human Rights Law and Legal Theory, and is the head of the master’s degree in Human Rights Law. Her research focuses in part on the theory and sociology of Human Rights Law. She is the scientific coordinator of the REGINE project, that looks at equality in Europe.

Eirik Holmøyvik is a Professor of International, Constitutional and Human Rights Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Bergen. He is also an active member of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission (The European Commission for Democracy through Law).

Alida Steigler is a final year law student at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, and an intern at LawTransform.

Siri Gloppen is the Director of LawTransform (the CMI-UiB Centre of Law and Social Transformation) and Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen.