Justice in a Pandemic Briefing One: Justice for All and the Public Health Emergency

Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, David Steven, Maaike de Langen, Sam Muller, Mark Weston, Jennifer Davidson

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global emergency. It is not only a health crisis but also a human rights crisis. Justice actors face daunting responsibilities as they design, implement, and enforce new measures to prevent the spread of infection. Measures that heighten the risk of human rights abuses can undermine trust, at a time when the justice system most needs to maintain the public’s confidence.
For better or for worse, justice systems and justice workers are on the frontline of this pandemic. If we get our response right, societies will be better able to confront the pandemic effectively and fairly. That will build the foundations for reset and recovery. If we get it wrong, it is no exaggeration to say that people will die unnecessarily.
In the Justice for All report released last year, the Task Force on Justice noted that 1.5 billion people had a justice problem that they could not resolve. Now as well as before the pandemic, marginalized communities – already poorly served by justice systems – face the highest risks, as do vulnerable groups. The
pandemic is widening the justice gap, with a sharp increase in the problems that many people face and the ability of justice actors to respond declining.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • justice
  • pandemic
  • Covid-19
  • health emergency

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