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Edinburgh Law School academics contribute to OUP volume on law and policy contexts: Covid-19 in Asia

Sun 6 December 2020

Covid-19 in Asia

A new publication by Oxford University Press, 'Covid-19 in Asia', includes two separate contributions from Edinburgh Law School's Navraj Singh Ghaleigh (Senior Lecturer in Climate Law) and Dr Asanga Welikala (Lecturer in Public Law).

Edited by Victor V. Ramraj, Professor of Law and Chair in Asia-Pacific Legal Relations at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, the publication is the first collected volume on Covid-19 law and policy issues in Asia, with thirty chapters by sixty-one authors from seventeen jurisdictions. It captures initial responses to the pandemic while identifying enduring law and policy challenges, and critically examines policy responses in terms of effectiveness and fairness.

'Covid-19 in Asia' includes contributions by academics as well as authors with experience in diplomacy, aviation, central banks, international trade, public health agencies, journalism, software development, medicine, and climate advocacy.

Asanga Welikala contributed an item titled 'Pandemic-Catalysed Democratic Backsliding', in collaboration with Bhavani Fonseka and Luwie Ganeshathasan, whilst Navraj Singh Ghaleigh worked with Louise Burrows on a piece called 'Reset or Revert in the New Climate Normal'.

The hardcover is available through OUP.

Covid-19 in Asia: Law and Policy Contexts

This is a book for an extraordinary time, about a pandemic for which there is no modern precedent. It is an edited collection of original essays on Asia's legal and policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, which, in a matter of months, swept around the globe, infecting millions. It transformed daily life in almost every corner of the planet: lockdowns of cities and entire countries, physical distancing and quarantines, travel restrictions and border controls, movement-tracking technology, mandatory closures of all but essential services, economic devastation and mass unemployment, and government assistance programs on record-breaking scales. Yet a pandemic on this scale, under contemporary conditions of globalization, has left governments and their advisors scrambling to improvise solutions, often themselves unprecedented in modern times, such as the initial lockdown of Wuhan.

This collection of essays analyzes law and policy responses across Asia, identifying cross-cutting themes and challenges. It taps the collective knowledge of an interdisciplinary team of sixty-one researchers both in the service of policy development, and with the goal of establishing a scholarly baseline for research after the storm has passed. The collection begins with an epidemiological overview and survey of the law and policy themes. The jurisdiction-specific case studies and cross-cutting thematic essays cover five topics: first wave containment measures; emergency powers; technology, science, and expertise; politics, religion, and governance; and economy, climate, and sustainability.