In order to avoid beginning with a dry description of the Covid-19 pandemic which we are all too familiar with, please allow me to place our new issue on ‘Covid Law’ in a wider perspective. On the one hand, compared to our previous issues, the present topic has a much broader scope, as the virus has affected virtually the entire world. On the other hand, it is yet another development that researchers ordinarily address, and thus ‘Covid Law’ may not differ so much from previous topics. Nevertheless, one unique feature remains: we at the Journal frankly wish that this issue did not have to be published given the enormous suffering the pandemic has caused to people and their families worldwide.
It is our mission, however, to take advantage of any opportunity to give an outlet to research on new topics, since newness signifies life, as opposed to the darkness of the pandemic. Let us then consider humanity’s current predicament from a different perspective. In a fast-paced world, let us stop and think, and realize the value of discussion, reflection, critique, and suggestion – all elements of academic research. Understanding the world through these actions is a noble aim to commit to, and so we shall do so.
Uncertainty – how to deal with it without spiralling down into an overwhelming fear of the unknown? One way is to familiarize oneself with the situation to an extent allowing normal day-to-day functioning. For instance, why not engage in an analysis of the said situation in a particular field of law? We at the Journal declare our commitment to continuity in the face of uncertainty, which could be the motto of the present issue. Thus, let me introduce two research articles covering current themes that are of particular relevance given the widespread restricting effects of measures against the coronavirus.
The first article addresses the legality of restrictions on rights and freedoms enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. States Parties to the Convention have the possibility to enact restrictive measures in a legitimate manner; however, their compliance with domestic and international law (‘legality’) must be examined. The authors’ extensive analysis of states whose executive measures were scrutinized by courts paints a picture of approaches to the legality assessment.
The second article deals with restrictions on economic activity during the pandemic. Key in this respect is the principle of proportionality, according to which the restrictive measure at hand is assessed against the objectives pursued. Generally, a dilemma of states is how to balance the right to health and the freedom to conduct business.
With this short introduction, and on behalf of the Editorial Board, I hereby invite you to dive into what I am certain will be a compelling read.
This issue is a product of the efforts of many, as it was created following an unfortunate standstill in the life of the Journal. I am particularly grateful to our interim Editor-in-Chief, Oğuz Kırman, for his tireless management of the Journal, and our Faculty Advisor, Eleni Kosta, for her continuous support. As regards the specifics of the editorial process, I would of course like to thank the Reviewers and Editors for their valuable contributions.
On behalf of the Editorial Board,