The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) School of Law is one of the universities in Kenya collaborating with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University (USA), on a project titled: COVID-19 Law Lab.
The COVID-19 Law Lab is a database of laws that countries have implemented in response to the pandemic.
It includes state of emergency declarations, quarantine measures, disease surveillance, legal measures relating to mask wearing, social distancing, access to medication and other healthcare services during the pandemic and access to vaccines.
The scope of the collaboration between JKUAT School of Law based at Karen Campus, Nairobi, and the O’Neill Institute started in June 2021 and is limited to African countries.
Ms. Jackline Muthoni Mwangi, a Faculty Member at the School of Law, Department of Law, Science & Technology where she teaches Legal Research & Writing and Health Law, says, the inclusion of students in the project “is an opportunity to hone their legal research skills; practice proper time management (studies, project work and personal commitment).”
She further notes that the research project accords the students a chance to interact and learn from other research assistants at O’Neill Institute and be part of an exercise of creating a database of laws passed by different African countries in relation to COVID 19 Law Lab.”
The School of Law is hopeful, the collaboration with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, will pave way for more opportunities for collaboration especially in the area of Health Law which is one of the niche areas of the School of Law.
According to the project website, the COVID-19 Law Lab initiative gathers and shares legal documents from over 190 countries across the world to help states establish and implement strong legal frameworks to manage the pandemic.
The goal is to ensure laws protect the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities and that they adhere to international human rights standards.
The Lab is a joint project of the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and Georgetown University.