Team Innovation Law @ICON•S MUNDO


Tess Upperton presented a paper on “Lockdown by Press Conference? COVID-19 and the Rule of Law in New Zealand and Austria” (Panel #203), which she co-authored with hub members Thomas Buocz, Magdalena Nemeth, and Iris Eisenberger.

Tess Upperton, Research Associate in the Innovation Law team at the University of Graz, will participate in the international conference ICON·S MUNDO, which revolves around public law issues around the world. The conference will take place online from 6 to 9 July 2021.

In both Austria and New Zealand, the government communicated stricter measures during the first lockdown in March and April 2020 than were lawfully in place at the time. A divide between government communications and law poses considerable problems for the rule of law, as citizens may obey communications because they believe that they have the force of law and communications cannot always be easily reviewed by the courts. In their paper, the authors compare the two systems of judicial review in New Zealand and Austria and examine how each system dealt with this problem. They conclude that systems capable of reviewing government miscommunication can better uphold the rule of law in the face of crisis.

The tentative conference program can be found here and on the Mundo Conference website.