Constitutional Resilience and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Ebenezer Durojaye and Derek Powell (eds.) Constitutional Resilience and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives from Sub-Saharan Africa (2022) Palgrave Macmillan, 405pp.
This book explores the resilience of constitutional government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting and comparing perspectives from ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa to global trends.
In emergency situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, a state has the right and duty under both international law and domestic constitutional law to take appropriate steps to protect the health and security of its population. Emergency regimes may allow for the suspension or limitation of normal constitutional government and even human rights. Those measures are not a license for authoritarian rule, but they must conform to legal standards of necessity, reasonableness, and proportionality that limit state action in ways appropriate to the maintenance of the rule of law in the context of a public health emergency.
Bringing together established and emerging African scholars from ten countries, this book looks at the impact government emergency responses to the pandemic have on the functions of the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary, as well as the protection of human rights. It also considers whether and to what extent government emergency responses were consistent with international human rights law, in particular with the standards of legality, necessity, proportionality, and non-discrimination in the Siracusa Principles.