HELA’s Spring Conference 2022

In 2022, after almost two years of life within a pandemic, our conference focuses on legal issues that have evolved while navigating the challenges COVID-19 poses to different areas of life.

Our first panel on Climate Change Mitigation in the Era of COVID-19 consists of Justice Professor Susanne Baer from the German Federal Constitutional Court, Professor Kurt Faßbender from Leipzig University and  Seth Kerschner from White&Case New York as speakers. The panel will be moderated by Shaun A. Goho from Harvard Law School. Both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic pose unprecedented challenges to humankind, which – taken together – become even greater. However, there is also a lot to learn from COVID-19 for advancing climate change mitigation. Against this background, the panel focuses on European regulatory law and upcoming changes comparing it to US regulation and litigation on climate change.

Our second panel will cover the topic of Technology and Truth in the Age of the Pandemic. Our speakers are Professor Sofia Ranchordas from the University of Groningen, Professor Andrew Murray from the LSE Law School and Dr. Damian Tambini from the LSE Department of Media and Communications. The moderator of the panel is Ilektra Antonaki, Référendaire at the General Court of the European Union. During the pandemic, there have been instances where technology and communication were used to the detriment of democracy and the rule of law. This has brought up many questions of how we want to move forward. Do we need to re-examine the case for institutional privileges for journalism and the media in the new environment? How do we classify mis- and disinformation and how European governments (UK/EU) are tackling the mis and disinformation problem? How do we approach topics like digital citizenship, digital inclusion/exclusion, and the new EU declaration of digital rights? The panel focuses on these questions and will engage both with the EU and the US perspective on these issues.

For our third and last panel, Medicines Development and Access to Medicines after COVID-19, our speakers are Cristiana Spontoni from Jones Day (Brussels), Professor Luca Arnaudo from the Syracuse University College of Law and James Love from Knowledge Ecology International. Our moderator for this panel is Professor Ruth L. Okediji from the Harvard Law School. The purpose of this panel is to discuss how the EU can improve the development of medicines and access to medicines after the pandemic. The panel members will reflect on how different types of law can contribute to this process and on what the remaining challenges are.