Comparative Politics

Common law systems and COVID-19 policy response: protective public health policy in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia



The Covid-19 pandemic affected the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia in 2020 all pretty similarly. Knowing that that these four countries produce similar types of policies, and all follow the common law judicial system, it was necessary to analyze how the highest court of each land influenced political actors when responding to the first Covid-19 outbreak. More specifically, we determine the party affiliation of each Justice/judge, calculated the composition of the Courts and proceeded with determining how each of the four Courts ruled on protective public health policy responses. While this is new data during the beginning of the pandemic, we see similarities between 2020 Court opinions and come to conclude that more research on years following 2020 is significant to finding stronger correlations.


Thumbnail image of CommonLaw_COVIDChapter.pdf


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