April 2, 2020
International Economic Law in the Shadow of COVID-19: Perspectives From the Global South
Afronomicslaw.org, the blog on International Economic Law Issues as they relate to the Global South is pleased to invite essay submissions on International Economic Law topics relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect original and analytical essays that sharply focus on, but are not limited to, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on issues such as:
- Trade and Investment. For example, the intersection of measures taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic with trade and investment obligations especially for Global South countries and in particular Least Developed Countries.
- Business Transactions. For example, what national measures need to be undertaken to support the losses sustained by the large informal cross-border trade and its adverse impact on micro-businesses and the livelihoods of those involved?
- Financial Institutions. For example, measures and interventions from Global South international financial institutions such as the African Development Bank, AfreximBank, Development Bank of Latin America, Asian Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructural Bank and similar institutions to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their economies.
- Sovereign Debt. For example, whether there should be waivers on interest payments for Global South countries? What type of financial instruments and on what conditions should they be issued to free-up fiscal and monetary policy space for Treasuries and Central Banks to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Private Debt. For example, should there be waivers on interest payments on trade credits, corporate bonds, lease payments and activation of liquidity?
- Personal and Corporate Insolvency. For example, what government policies or programmes would ensure citizens have access to finances for survival? What government policies or programmes, such as bail-outs and tax rebates, should be introduced to assist companies to avoid insolvency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? What are the insolvency implications for companies and industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? What are the potential liabilities for Directors of Companies entering into insolvency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?
- E Commerce, Information and Communication Technology (ICT). For example, what are the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on E-Commerce? What are the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on ICT and its regulatory regimes?
- Human Rights. For example, what do the rights to life, right to health or right to food mean in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic? To what extent can governments interfere with the right to liberty, freedom of assembly or freedom of movement to protect public health?
- Intellectual Property Rights. For example, how can governments employ flexibilities and other measures to facilitate access to pharmaceutical products including drugs, vaccines, test kits, personal protective equipment and related technologies? Private interests versus the public interest? How can governments navigate the intersections of (big) data and data protection or privacy concerns?
- Medical Supplies: For example, should countries in the Global South develop independent national production capabilities for medical supplies and sustainable supply chains that address pandemics given the disruption of global trade? What could governments learn from COVID-19 to be better prepared in future to meet medical supplies in emergency situations and the inadequacy of just in time supplies without emergency stockpiles of emergency medical supplies? How does this relate to industrialization goals for countries in the Global South?
- Food and Agriculture. For example, how do we ensure access to and availability of food for all? How can we build resilient food systems with sustainable supply chains?
- Environment and Climate Change. For example, what are the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Climate Change and Environmental Justice? How do we deal with a post-COVID-19 pandemic environmental world order?
- Aid and Corruption. For example, what can the COVID-19 pandemic teach us about the intersections of aid and corruption in the Global South?
- Regional Governance. For example, how should the African Union respond to the COVID-19 pandemic? What concrete interim regional economic intervention measures should be introduced (or have been introduced) to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on specific vulnerable sectors?
- Multilateralism. Do global pandemics demonstrate the need for enhanced multilateralism, including the role of the WHO, or for regional/national responses? What do the effectiveness of national responses in places like Taiwan and Singapore tell us about whether we choose multilateral, sub-regional, regional or national responses?
- International (Economic) Law, Theories and Practice. How could the legal, economic, political and other theoretical frameworks in International Economic Law provide insights for understanding the COVID-19 pandemic? Are the organisations that ‘govern globalisation’, such as the WTO, WB, IMF and UN, fit for purpose, especially in relation to the Global South?
- Teaching and Research. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected teaching techniques and research? For example, given the digital divide and challenges such as the persistent denial of visas and costs of participating in international conference, is there an opportunity to reimagine future participations of scholars from the Global South? What are the challenges encountered with online participation?
Please submit your blog essays and any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Word Count: 1,500 to 2000. Deadline for Essay Submissions: April 22, 2020. Notification of Acceptance By or About: April 24, 2020.