IBA announces creation of legal policy task force to review response to COVID-19

Monday 6 September 2021

The International Bar Association (IBA) – the global voice of the legal profession – has formed an executive task force to critically and constructively assess the policies underlying COVID-19 responses in salient legal areas, and, where appropriate, will issue concrete actionable recommendations to reform legal regimes with the intention of improving the global coordination of containment management in future pandemics.

The analysis of the IBA Covid-19 Legal Policy Task Force will be presented during the free five-day online IBA Global Showcase event, in the Presidential Showcase on Wednesday 27 October 2021 at 14:00 GMT. The report will delineate what worked and what has not, as well as including suggestions for the use of more potent legal tools.

The Task Force is co-chaired by Almudena Arpón de Mendívil, IBA Vice President and Partner at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo in Madrid together with the project’s initiator Harry Rubin, Partner and Chair, Technology and IP Transactions, Kramer Levin New York and former Chair of the IBA Technology Section and Peter Bartlett, Chair, IBA Legal Practice Division and Partner at MinterEllison in Melbourne. Task Force members are comprised of representatives from key IBA Committees with legal disciplines particularly relevant to COVID-19.

Arpon de Mendivil emphasised: ‘The world’s experience under this pandemic cannot be disregarded from any perspective, and the legal one is of particular relevance. It has become clear which legal policies and measures are helping and those which should be improved, providing a sound legal framework for this new reality. Through the IBA’s unique position in the global legal community, we are very well-placed to proffer recommendations for proactive global legal policy coordination to aid the world in coping with the current pandemic and future ones. Our international connections are vast, and we intend to utilise them to recommend legislation and legal frameworks for the benefit of all’.

Rubin added: ‘With more than four million dead, untold socio-economic devastation and relentless variants of the virus wreaking havoc, COVID-19 is the greatest global catastrophe since World War II. Everything possible should be done to prevent epidemics evolving into pandemics, but once evolved, pandemics must be treated by the international community as threats of paramount importance to global security.

Bartlett concluded: ‘The task is vast but through the legal expertise contained in a myriad of IBA Committees, including the Healthcare and Life Sciences Law Committee, we have marshalled the expertise of numerous specialists to offer a critical and constructive assessment of global legal responses to COVID-19. We hope to contribute substantively to global discourse and action’.


Notes to the Editor

  1. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), established in 1995 under Founding Honorary President Nelson Mandela, is an autonomous and financially independent entity, working to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law, and to preserve the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession worldwide.
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  3. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.

    The IBA acts as a connector, enabler, and influencer, for the administration of justice, fair practice, and accountability worldwide. The IBA has collaborated on a broad range of ground-breaking, international projects with the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, The Commonwealth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, among others.

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For further information, please contact:

Romana St. Matthew - Daniel
Press Office
International Bar Association

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IBAHRI website page link for this news release:
Short link: tinyurl.com/ewy3fhsz
Full link: www.ibanet.org/IBA-announces-creation-of-legal-policy-task-force-to-review-response-to-COVID-19