Összefoglaló. A világjárvány a Föld minden országát fenyegeti. Az
ellene folytatott küzdelem eredményeit és kudarcait akkor lehet felmérni, ha a
veszély elmúlt. Addig csak a vírus támadásának a más társadalmi kockázatoktól
eltérő egyedi tulajdonságai tárhatóak fel. Tanulmányozásra várnak az egyes
országokban bevezetett rendkívüli intézkedések és az Egészségügyi Világszervezet
(WHO) globális védekezésre tett kezdeményezései.
Summary. The time has not yet come for a comprehensive assessment of
the COVID-19 pandemic situation. At this stage, it is possible to collect
information, formulate incomplete hypotheses, and define possible research
directions and methodology. With this in mind, our paper will focus primarily on
domestic practices. We will study the legislation, the constitutional basis of
the special legal order, the functioning of public administration organisation,
the reactions of criminal substantive and procedural law and, finally, the
changed tasks and functions of law enforcement administration in the emergency
On the basis of the information available to us, we are seeking answers to three
Firstly, can the pandemic be considered a global threat to societies, one with
specific characteristics that are different from all other threats?
Secondly, what role do the state, government in general, and public
administration authorities and law enforcement in particular, have to play in
combating the pandemic?
Thirdly, can international cooperation achieve such a level of global capacity
for action that is needed to tackle the global threat?
In response to the first question, the study describes the specificities that
justify the uniqueness of the pandemic in nine points:
the classification as the highest risk,
the three hazards theory,
the incomparable nature of the consequences of pandemics and natural
the exclusion of any prior consideration of risk-taking,
the application of the tolerable and intolerable distinction,
the inconsistency of the typology of internal and external risks,
a characteristic that cannot be predicted by legislation,
the mathematical measurability of consequences, and
the impact on the world economy.
Our second aim was to present the domestic practice of combating the epidemic
through the special legal order, drawing on the evaluations of legal scholars on
the subject published since 2020. We have reviewed the constitutionality of the
special legal order, its impact on central state and municipal administration,
on substantive and procedural criminal law, and on law enforcement
administration. Attention was paid to a specific institution dictated by the
exceptional situation: the hospital command system. The police officers
temporarily appointed to this post are responsible for supporting the
organisational work in health institutions, which cannot include medical
activities requiring medical training.
The third theme focused on the World Health Organisation’s response to the
epidemic from a global perspective. We recalled that the idea of an
international treaty was first raised by the President of the European Council,
Charles Michel, at the Paris Peace Forum in November 2020 and subsequently
endorsed by the G7 leaders on 19 February 2021. EU leaders then expressed their
commitment to start work on the preparation of an international treaty on
pandemics in the framework of the World Health Organisation.
We are convinced that this threefold approach will be worth pursuing when the
opportunity arises to assess good and bad practices in epidemic management.
However, this will be a task for the post-COVID era.