On 29 October 2020, the international consortium of the research project met for one of its regular online meetings to compare and discuss the measures taken so far against the spread of COVID-19 in different parts of the world.
The Austrian case study is carried out by Professor Iris Eisenberger, Thomas Buocz and Nikolaus Poechhacker (University of Graz), together with the team of Professor Ulrike Felt (University of Vienna).
Many case study presentations had to be updated and revised in the last minute, e.g. because some national governments imposed renewed lockdowns. This shows the high dynamic of the corona situation.
On behalf of the Austrian team, Ulrike Felt reported on the historical development of infection incidence, testing strategy in Austria the legal and political controversies analysed by the team.
From a legal point of view, it could be seen that restrictive measures, such as restrictions to public space or to enter stores, brought freedom rights into the center of attention. On the contrary, the loosening of measures brought issues of equal treatment into the spotlight.
With regard to the rule of law, it was mainly the insufficient record keeping of the competent Federal Minister that led to the Constitutional Court (VfGH) declaring that some measures against COVID-19 from spring 2020 had been unlawful.
The project CompCoRe comprises scientists from 10 countries and is led by Stephen Hilgartner, Cornell University, and Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard University. The study is funded by the National Science Foundation.