Pandemic legislation in the European Union: Fit for purpose? The need for a systematic comparison of national laws

Elizabeth M. Speakman (Lead / Corresponding author), Scott Burris, Richard Coker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)
    25 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Sound governance is central to effective pandemic management. Key international legal instruments governing pandemic management in the European Union (EU): the International Health Regulations (2005) and Decision 1082/13 require EU Member States to develop national plans and invite them to establish national legal frameworks to support compliance with this international legislation. Although Member States may design the legal framework as they choose, the strongest instrument of pandemic governance is national legislation. It is currently unclear what national pandemic governance exists in Member States as it has not been mapped, i.e. identified and collated. Legal analysis and empirical evaluation of implementation and impact have therefore not been possible. We propose comprehensive mapping to create the necessary comparative data for legal analysis assessing national legislation's compliance with international obligations and ethical principles. Empirical research could evaluate its effectiveness in promoting cross-border coherence and robust emergency response. We draw on the U.S. experience with “policy surveillance”, the systematic scientific mapping of laws of public health importance. Until national pandemic governance is mapped and evaluated, we cannot know if it is lawful, ethical or effective.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1021-1024
    Number of pages4
    JournalHealth Policy
    Volume121
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health Policy

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Pandemic legislation in the European Union: Fit for purpose? The need for a systematic comparison of national laws'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this