Whose Jurisdiction? Law in Books and in Action

The severity of the measures adopted in response to the pandemic are putting unprecedented pressure on existing governance systems both at the level of decision making and implementation. This has generated a debate over multi-level governance arrangements. Emergency powers, suspension of devolved powers, and lower-level insurgencies have been globally discussed, with virtually no exception.

Questionnaire Whose Jurisdiction? Law in Books and in Action asks experts to identify first the level of government tasked with decision-making on matters of public health according to the constitution, if the measures have been challenged on their merits, but also if they have been challenged on the very jurisdiction of the body that took the measures, and if that in turn generated a wider debate on the very constitutional arrangements.

The implementation of the measures by lower-level governance structures has brought much public attention to these levels of government that rarely make the headlines. Mayors, in particular, have acquired unprecedented visibility across jurisdictions. What this will translate into in the after-pandemic world is a space to watch!