2020/ 2021

Matteo de Nes

Mobility Phase: Heidelberg University

Pandemic Measures in Europe: Legitimacy and Proportionality under the Lens of Transparency

Dr. Matteo De Nes was post-doc Fellow at the University of Padua (Italy). He holds a PhD in Constitutional Law and Comparative Public Law, released by the University of Venice in 2017. His doctoral research investigated the impact of austerity measures on the protection of social rights in the Eurozone. He was Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy (Munich) in 2015. His research area of interest includes the principles of proportionality and transparency, as well as scrutiny techniques used by courts. He has published several articles in the field of Constitutional and Comparative Public Law, and he participated as speaker in many international conferences. He has been admitted to the Italian Bar Association and he holds a degree in law released by the University of Padua in 2012.

Pandemic Measures in Europe: Legitimacy and Proportionality under the Lens of Transparency

The Covid-19 pandemic is the first case of strong, widespread limitation of constitutional rights and freedoms in Europe since the end of the Second World War. In particular, freedom of movement and economic rights have been significantly restricted in order to protect public health. Therefore, reasonableness, proportionality and transparency should guide governments and lawmaking bodies more than in ordinary times. In many European countries, pandemic legal measures have been adopted on the basis of scientific evidence, technical assessments, and statistical data. Nonetheless, this information has been either partially disclosed or not disclosed at all to the public. Many legal provisions have been approved after numerous consultations with scientists, but without comprehensive, publicly transparent communication of datasets, criteria, potential errors, etc. This lack of transparency could undermine the legitimacy of the measures adopted and prevent a complete proportionality assessment in case of judicial disputes. The project will analyze: (i) whether scientific data have been officially disclosed to the public by governments of selected European countries; (ii) whether and how such data has been used by courts; (iii) whether a higher degree of transparency in decision-making processes is constitutionally warranted in the context of this massive limitation of rights and freedoms.