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Addressing COVID-19 challenges for vulnerable groups

Addressing COVID-19 challenges for vulnerable groups is a 3-year research project that aims to investigate the new legal issues arising from the pandemic with a focus on the protection of vulnerable groups.


COVID-19 has triggered an unprecedented global health and economic crisis, fundamentally impacting every aspect of life, and leading to massive economic disruption, affecting supply chains and the ability to undertake and implement work, government-function and access to justice. This has led to new legal issues. Contracting parties are facing difficulties meeting the obligations of contracts. While disputes might normally be resolved by state courts, many are experiencing delays and a backlog of cases. Travel bans and lockdowns have largely affected family life.

These phenomena have left certain groups of people particularly vulnerable, such as small businesses and consumers, women and children, supply chain workers in developing economies, migrants and refugees. The study aims to focus on the protection of those who are at a higher risk of being negatively impacted by the pandemic.

To that end, the study will assess the existing legal mechanisms in the UK and Japan in comparison to other various European and Asian legal systems, and will identify the holistic needs of jurisdictions, to understand how to effectively maximise safety and access to justice for the most vulnerable.

This three year project is led by Professor Eva Lein, BIICL   and Professor Yuko Nishitani of Kyoto University  

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