Adrienne Yong and Sabrina Germain
We were told at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic that the virus did not discriminate. But the truth is that COVID-19 has brought to light the structural inequalities in healthcare that have existed for decades.
In the UK, people from an ethnic minority background are more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people. And during the first wave of the pandemic, the increased in overall deaths rates from all causes was higher among migrants than among people born in the UK.
Andrea Maria Pelliconi and Pia Rebelo
This year, the well-known book series in Maritime and Transport Law, Il Diritto Marittimo – Quaderni, devoted an entire volume to issues related to the Belt and Road Initiative and the topic of migrants at sea. These topics are reflective of shipping’s role in achieving the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals by addressing the factors that undermine environmental protection, economic stability, security and safe migration. Two City Law School doctoral researchers – Andrea Maria Pelliconi and Pia Rebelo – contributed to the latest edition of Il Diritto Marittimo with articles entitled, ‘Migrants at Sea and the implications of the “duty to rescue”: human rights perspectives in the light of the Italian case-law’ and ‘Vessel-Source Pollution in the Belt And Road Initiative: Green Finance as a Regulatory Tool for Environmental Sustainability’, respectively.
It scarcely needs repeating that trade in digital products and services has become essential to the economy of both the UK and the world. The Covid-19 epidemic has accelerated this trend, with the result that rules governing this sphere of economic activity will only become more important over time. While it has lagged relative to other areas, international law governing digital trade is beginning to take shape and the UK quite rightly aims to be at the forefront of these developments.
Despite the rhetoric to diverge from the EU, the UK Government recently proposed a controversial piece of legislation for the functioning of a UK “Internal Market”, parroting with this language what has typically been an EU construction.
Brexit means that the UK will have to manage its internal trade, without being subject to EU rules. The UK Internal Market Bill has been introduced to ensure the free flow of goods and services between England and the devolved nations (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). The Government fears that, once the UK will be untangled from EU law, there regulatory divergence will create barriers and costs for internal trade. Whether the Bill was necessary at all to achieve this aim is still hotly debated. The widespread opposition it received from the Lords, not to mention the legal action launched by the EU Commission, suggest that, in its current form, it was not.
Legal debates about Brexit have mostly focused on the legal issues that arise under EU law and UK law and the impact of Brexit on the EU and UK. A recent book edited by Juan Santos Vara and Ramses A. Wessel analyses the international dimension of Brexit. The book examines the implications of Brexit for the external relations of both the EU and UK.
Researchers at City Law School – Professor Elaine Fahey, Professor Panos Koutrakos and Jed Odermatt – contributed chapters that examine some of the challenges arising from the UK’s departure from the European Union, with a focus on the international dimension.
Andrea Maria Pelliconi
In 2020, the government of the United Kingdom is facing the electoral defeat of its main transatlantic ally, a possible no-deal Brexit and an unprecedented worldwide pandemic. Yet the Home Office is primarily concerned about another (perceived) critical threat: few thousands migrants crossing the Channel yearly to seek asylum on the island.
Over the past months a wide range of rather creative solutions were suggested to deal with the issue. The Home Office revitalised the ‘good old days’ idea behind the penal colonies of the great White Australia policy and decided that that ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is a valid policy principle after all. In October 2020, externalising asylum processing centres on remote British territories in the Atlantic Ocean was suggested. The Home Office envisioned transferring migrants to Ascension Island – an island 4,000 miles away, barely inhabited and rather inhospitable to human life. Further leaks identified other possible territories being considered for extraterritorial processing, including Moldova, Morocco and Papua New Guinea – which, apparently, were entirely in the dark about the idea. Weeks before, the proposed solution was buying retired ferries and converting them into floating asylum-processing centres. More recently, British people heard about pushing dinghies back to France with a wave machine or fishing asylum seekers with big nets.
The new book, Framing Convergence with the Global Order: The EU and the World, edited by Professor Elaine Fahey, Jean Monnet Chair in Law and Transatlantic Relations at the University of London’s City Law School, explores EU convergence in the global order, drawing on a range of disciplines to illuminate the themes of global convergence and the EU’s role in a turbulent international environment. The contributors find that, although the EU remains a driving force behind a rules-based international order, the methodology of depicting complex case studies remains contestable. Continue reading
The British Broadcasting Corporation’s director general, Tim Davie, recently announced new rules on impartiality for employees. These rules prohibit BBC journalists from publishing any statements or ‘public demonstrations or gatherings about controversial issues’ – even in a personal capacity outside of working hours – that might be seen to lend support to a particular political perspective, in order to prevent accusations of bias from arising against those journalists. It has been Continue reading