This paper examines, in the light of the COVID-19 crisis, the room for judicial oversight of health crisis measures based on the public’s expectations of how governments should act in the interplay with experts. The paper explains how trust theory and procedural rationality review help to address concerns related to legitimacy and expertise. The paper argues that courts should distinguish between two stages.
In the initial stage, fear as a driver for government support based on expertise justifies that the proportionality test is limited to the question of whether measures were based on virologist expert advice. In the next stage, people expect the government to take expert-informed decisions, but also require that the government takes into account societal needs. Procedural rationality review in this stage demands that courts examine whether the decision was based on an informed balance of rights and interests.
The article was written by Patricia Popelier, Bjorn Kleizen, Carolyn Declerck, Monika Glavina and Wouter Van Dooren, published by European Journal of Risk Regulation.
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