State Responsibility for the (Public) Right to Health and Security in Times of Covid Pandemic

Sascha-Dominik Bachmann, Joachim Sanden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article discusses the consequences of the broader concept of health as a security concept under the applicable law of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of serious threats of to public health. Based on judgments by the European Court of Human Rights, a positive obligation of the Member States to act proactively towards health protection can be extracted from Article 5 (1) ECHR (liberty and security). The authors explore the scope of this provision in times of a public health emergency like a pandemic, a prolonged natural hazard or bioterrorism to protect a citizen´s health and life. This article has particular relevance before the present global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It argues in favour of a government’s right and duty to keep its citizens safe from harm by providing an ECHR perspective on governmental duties to act in a proactive way when dealing with public health emergencies while at the same time balancing its human rights obligations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-430
Number of pages24
JournalThe Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2020

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