Responding to a public health emergency such as COVID-19 requires effective government institutions capable of delivering both preventive and emergency medical care while also maintaining other essential public services. Regardless of the exigencies of the crisis, it must carry out these basic functions in accordance with the rule of law—open to the public, contestable in the courts and through elections governed by law, with the consent of the legislature, and reviewed by audit and other oversight bodies.
This policy brief examines how the COVID-19 crisis presents an enormous stress test for accountable governance—upon which an effective public health response depends—and what can be done about it.
This policy brief is part of a multidisciplinary initiative from the World Justice Project to expand knowledge of the relationship between public health and the rule of law, and to identify measures to tackle the twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rule of law where they intersect. Learn more about this initiative here, and learn how the World Justice Challenge 2021: Advancing the Rule of Law in a Time of Crisis is addressing these issues here.