Launched in July 2020 as a joint project of the WHO, UNDP, UNAIDS, and the O’Neill Institute, the COVID-19 Law Lab project addresses the urgent need for quality legal information to support the study of how law and policy can be used to effectively manage present and future pandemics.
The COVID-19 pandemic provides a unique opportunity — the ability to use technology for legal surveillance and to use global connections to fight this virus with critical legal knowledge. The COVID-19 Law Lab’s vision is to apply recognized methods of law and policy surveillance to promote health and human rights. By collecting the global legal data in raw form, the COVID-19 Law Lab enables an understanding of law and policy as a determinant of health and human rights. The COVID-19 Law Lab helps to strengthen the global legal infrastructure — enabling governments to make evidence-based law and policy decisions in dealing with this health crisis. The COVID-19 Law Lab also seeks to democratize law and policymaking by giving all countries a voice in how to manage this public health emergency. The COVID-19 Law Lab database is publicly available, providing an important resource for research and allowing policymakers, academics, and civil society to gain knowledge across jurisdictions that can help countries strengthen legal frameworks to respond effectively to future disease outbreaks.