From one country to another, the extent of the measures taken in response to the COVID-19 threat has varied considerably. In most cases, society has been asked to compromise between helping to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus and preserving constitutional rights including freedom of expression, freedom of movement, privacy and data protection. However, where do we draw the line between personal space and civic duty? And will this line blur post-pandemic?
Presented by Globalaw, this webinar featured Globalaw President Julia Holden Davis (Gunster, USA) as moderator and international insights from panelists Ardavan Amir-Aslani (Cohen Amir-Aslani, France), Brad Nitschke (Jackson Walker, USA), Bob Lee (Front Advokater, Sweden), Hermina Grozdanic Kelly (Front Advokater, Sweden), and Paul Tully (McInnes Wilson Lawyers, Australia).
With regard to freedom of expression in the United States, Brad noted, “In the U.S., there are some clear protections, especially around freedom of expression—which we call freedom of speech—and the right to gather, which our Constitution calls freedom of association. Those are pretty fundamental freedoms protected under the First Amendment of our federal Constitution, and there’s a fairly high bar for the government to restrict either of those. I think probably as a result of that, we’ve seen governments taking a cautious approach in restricting what people can say and enacting outright bans on gatherings.”
“Those are pretty fundamental freedoms protected under the First Amendment of our federal constitution, and there’s a fairly high bar for the government to restrict either of those.”
JW & Globalaw
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