Responding to a crisis: the European Court of Human Rights and the COVID-19 pandemic

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This article addresses the highly significant and current area of the human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing specifically on the relevant jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. During the pandemic, states had a duty to protect the lives of their citizens, particularly those especially vulnerable to the virus, and adopted a range of measures with this aim. However, the widespread ramifications of these measures for the lives of individuals has given rise to questions concerning the extent to which other rights were restricted, and whether an appropriate balance was struck. This article explores the difficult issues with which the Court has to grapple when dealing with cases in this area. It will be argued that to preserve the legitimacy of human rights law, the Court must be cautious of applying an overly narrow margin of appreciation in such cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-394
JournalEuropean Human Rights Law Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2022


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