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Covid 19 — Judicial deference to the Executive


Bruce Chen,

COVID-19 Stay at Home Restrictions and the Interpretation of Emergency Powers: A Comparative Analysis,

Statute Law Review, Volume 44, Issue 1, April 2023, hmac012,



The #COVID-19 #pandemic has created immense challenges for governments in their management of the public health response and tested the limits of public law. This article undertakes a comparative analysis of the common law jurisdictions of the #United Kingdom, #New Zealand, and #Australia. It discusses the imposition of ‘stay at home’ restrictions pursuant to public health legislative frameworks, focusing on judicial scrutiny in the context of statutory interpretation….Using…case studies, this article seeks to reveal key themes and implications for public law.
What approaches have the courts adopted to construe public health #emergency powers? How have the courts treated ‘rights-based’ principles of statutory interpretation? Have the courts approached interpretation in the usual manner or displayed an unorthodox level of deference to other branches of government? The article concludes on what implications the judicial approaches have for the interpretation of emergency powers in the future.

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