Coronavirus and the Law in Europe

This book examines coronavirus-related legislation and its consequences in European states. It brings together expert contributions from over 80 academics and practitioners.
Ewoud Hondius, Marta Santos Silva, Andrea Nicolussi, Pablo Salvador Coderch, Christiane Wendehorst, Fryderyk Zoll
book | published | 1st edition
August 2021 | xxii + 1154 pp.



ISBN 9781839700828



ISBN 9781839701801

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On 30 January 2020, in response to the globalisation of COVID-19, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The deadly outbreak has caused unprecedented disruption to travel and trade and is raising pressing legal questions across all disciplines, which this book attempts to address.

The aims of this book are twofold. First, it is intended to serve as a “toolbox” for domestic and European judges, who are now dealing with the interpretation of COVID-19-related legislation and administrative measures, as well as the disruption the pandemic has caused to society and fundamental rights. Second, it aims to assist businesses and citizens who wish to be informed about the implications of the virus in the existence, performance and enforcement of their contracts.

Coronavirus and the Law in Europe is probably the largest academic publication on the impact of pandemics on the law. This academic endeavour is a joint, collaborative effort to structure the recent and ongoing legal developments into a coherent and pan-European overview on coronavirus and the law. It covers practically all European countries and legal disciplines and comprises contributions from more than 80 highly reputed European academics and practitioners.

With contributions by Ana Isabel da Costa Afonso (Catholic University of Portugal, Portugal), Antonio Albanese (Catholic University of Milan, Italy), Guido Alpa (University of Rome – La Sapienza, Italy), Christian Alunaru (Vasile Goldiș University Arad, Romania) Henrique Sousa Antunes (Catholic University of Portugal, Portugal), Wojciech Bańczyk (Jagiellonian University, Poland; University of Osnabrück, Germany), Hugh Beale (University of Warwick; Harris Manchester College and University of Oxford, England, UK), Lucian Bojin (West University Timișoara, Romania), Jean-Sébastien Borghetti (Université Paris II Panthé on-Assas, France), Christoph Busch (University of Osnabrück, Germany), Roberta Calvano (Unitelma Sapienza University, Italy), Angel Carrasco (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain), Jorge Morais Carvalho (NOVA School of Law, Portugal), António Menezes Cordeiro (University of Lisbon, Portugal), A. Barreto Menezes Cordeiro (University of Lisbon, Portugal), Luísa Cortat Simonetti Gonçalves (Academy of European Law (ERA) and Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland), Antonio Da Re (University of Padua, Italy), Eugenia Dacoronia (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (EKPA), Greece), Gerhard Dannemann (Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany; University of Oxford, England, UK), Giacomo Delledonne (Scuola Superiore Sant ’ Anna, Italy), Ekaterina Dmitrikova (Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia), Gabriel Doménech-Pascual (University of Valencia, Spain), Merle Erikson (University of Tartu, Estonia), Sjef van Erp (Maastricht University, The Netherlands), Bénédicte Fauvarque-Cosson (Conseillère d’Etat, agrégée des facultés de droit, France), Andreas Furrer (University of Lucerne, Switzerland), Martina Gajdošová (Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovak Republic), Juan José Ganuza (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Luca Giacomelli (University of Florence, Italy), Carlos Gómez-Ligüerre (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Fernando Gómez Pomar (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Mateusz Grochowski (Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Hamburg, Germany), Maria Raquel Guimarães (University of Porto, Portugal), Ewoud Hondius (Utrecht University, The Netherlands), Carmen Jerez (Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain), Miha Juhart (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), María Kubica (Universidad Loyola Andalucía, Spain), Irene Kull (University of Tartu, Estonia), Elisabetta Lamarque (University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy), Angelika Layr (University of Lucerne, Switzerland), Álvaro Luna (Cuatrecasas, Spain), Hector L. MacQueen (University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK), Marcello Maggiolo (University of Padua, Italy; Innsbruck University, Austria), Mikołaj Małecki (Jagiellonian University, Poland), Michele Massa (Catholic University of Milan, Italy), Svitlana Mazepa (West Ukrainian National University, Ukraine), Attila Menyhárd (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary), Valentinas Mikelėnas (Vilnius University, Lithuania),Rosa Milà -Rafel (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Luka Mišič (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Christina Möllnitz (University of Bayreuth, Germany), Andrea Nicolussi (Catholic University of Milan, Italy), Andrej Novikov (Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia), Carlo Padula (University of Padua, Italy), Sandra Passinhas (Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal), Denis Philippe (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium; University of Paris, France), Katarzyna Południak-Gierz (Jagiellonian University, Poland; University of Osnabrück, Germany), Sonia Ramos González (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Maria Regina Redinha (University of Porto, Portugal), Ewa Rott-Pietrzyk (University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland), Antoni Rubí-Puig (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Albert Ruda (University of Girona, Spain), Anton Rudokvas (Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia), Pablo Salvador Coderch (Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Cuatrecasas, Spain), Marta Santos Silva (Maastricht University, The Netherlands; KU Leuven, Belgium), Martin Schmidt-Kessel (University of Bayreuth, Germany), Hans Schulte-Nölke (University of Osnabrück, Germany), Claudio Scognamiglio (Tor Vergata University, Italy), Ioannis Skandalis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (EKPA), Greece), Marek Sławiński (Jagiellonian University, Poland), Grega Strban (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Elena Sychenko (Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia), Dariusz Szostek (University of Opole, Poland), Verica Trstenjak (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; Sigmund Freud Private University Vienna, Austria), Christian Twigg-Flesner (University of Warwick, England, UK), Antoni Vaquer (University of Lleida, Spain), Eduardo Vera-Cruz Pinto (University of Lisbon, Portugal), Jeremias Wartmann (University of Lucerne, Switzerland), Christiane Wendehorst (University of Vienna, Austria), Aneta Wiewiórowska-Domagalska (University of Osnabrück, Germany) and Fryderyk Zoll (Jagiellonian University, Poland; University of Osnabrück, Germany).

Table of Contents

Table of contents and preliminary page (p. 0)


The Corona Crisis and Fundamental Rights from the Point of View of EU Law (p. 1)

A General and Constitutional Outline of Italy’s Efforts against COVID-19 (p. 25)

The Italian Constitutional Court and the Pandemic: A National and Comparative Perspective (p. 55)

How Did French Administrative Judges Handle COVID-19? (p. 81)

The Repressive Nature of Selected COVID-19 Regulations in the Polish Legal System: The Question of Constitutionality (p. 93)

COVID-19 and its Impact on Ukrainian Criminal Law (p. 115)

Who “Owns” the Data in a Coronavirus Tracing (and/or Tracking) App? (p. 131)

COVID-19 Apps and Data Protection (p. 157)


Coronavirus and the Law in Romania (p. 183)

A Lithuanian Experience of Coronavirus and the Law (p. 201)

“Corona Contract Law” in Poland: When Pandemic Meets Politics (p. 219)

Legal Measures as the Response to an Extraordinary Situation in the Slovak Republic (p. 243)

COVID-19 and Russian Law: Challenge and Response (p. 263)

The Impact of COVID-19 in the Portuguese Legal System: A Private Law Perspective through the Principle of Good Faith (p. 289)

The Impact of the Pandemic Crisis on the Relations between the State and the Regions in Italy (p. 301)


Tort Law and the Coronavirus: Liability for Harm Caused by the COVID-19 Outbreak (p. 321)

State Liability for Damage Caused by COVID-19 Restrictions under Polish Law (p. 343)

State Liability for Personal Injuries Caused by the COVID-19 Disease under Spanish Law (p. 365)

State Liability for the Management of the COVID-19 Crisis (p. 381)

Coronavirus and Medical Liability: The Italian Perspective (p. 399)

Hard Choices in the Pandemic and Guidelines: Ethical and Juridical Remarks on Medical Responsibility and Liability (p. 411)

Mobility at the Time of the Coronavirus and Damage Caused by Vehicles Equipped with Electronic Safety Systems (p. 439)


COVID-19 and English Contract Law (p. 461)

“Coronavirus Contract Law” in Scotland (p. 491)

Non-Performance and the Change of Circumstances under French Law (p. 509)

The Impact of the Coronavirus Crisis on the Analysis and Drafting of Contract Clauses: Force Majeure, Hardship and Deferral of Obligations (p. 527)

Remarks on the Effects of the Pandemic on Long-Term Contracts (p. 553)

Government Emergency Intervention in Private Contracts in Times of COVID-19: A User’s Guide (p. 567)

Force Majeure and Hardship in the Corona Crisis: Some Contract Law Reflection on ELI Principle no 13 (p. 603)

Coronavirus’ Impact on Broadcasting Rights for the Spanish Professional Football League (p. 627)

Prescription and Lapse of Rights under the Spanish State of Emergency (p. 647)

Parameters for Applying the Rules on Force Majeure to COVID-19 in Spain (p. 659)

Portugal’s COVID-19 Legislation and the Challenges Raised for the Change of Circumstances Regime (p. 677)

Particular Corona Contract Law in Germany: Why Does General Contract Law not Suffice? (p. 699)

Impossibility, Force Majeure and COVID-19 under Swiss and Austrian Contract Laws (p. 719)

Coronavirus and its Impact on Contracts in Greece (p. 743)

The Impacts of COVID-19 in Hungarian Contract Law (p. 759)

Deferral of Payments under a Credit Agreement as an Extraordinary Measure Due to the Epidemic: A Slovenian Approach (p. 779)

The Pandemic and Change of Circumstances in Italy (p. 793)

Coronavirus, the Millennium and the Financial Crisis (p. 813)


Spanish Consumer Law in the COVID-19 Emergency (p. 833)

Consumer Law and COVID-19 in Portugal (p. 849)

Digital Platforms and COVID-19 (p. 867)

Towards a Renaissance of Price Control in Contract Law? Preliminary Observations on COVID-19 and Price Regulation on the Consumer Market (p. 896)

Residential and Commercial Leases Amidst the Coronavirus Crisis: The Spanish Case in Context (p. 911)

The Juridical Impact of COVID-19 in Portuguese Tenancy Contract Law (p. 933)

Nudging Consumers Towards Sustainable Practices Regarding Plastics in a Post-COVID-19 Europe (p. 947)


Functional and Systemic Impacts of COVID-19 on European Social Law and Social Policy (p. 973)

Labour Law Measures Adopted in Response to COVID-19 in Greece (p. 989)

A Portuguese Approach to Privacy in COVID-19 Times: Through the Keyhole (p. 1009)

Alteration of the Contractual Equilibrium Due to COVID-19 in Employment and Civil Law Contracts under Estonian Law (p. 1027)

The Italian Education System: A Chronically Ill Patient Facing the Coronavirus Pandemic (p. 1047)


A New Approach to the Legal Understanding of “Directness” and “Participation” in the Aftermath of COVID-19 (p. 1067)

The Potential of the COVID-19 Crisis to Cause Legal “Disruption” to Contracts and Contract Law (p. 1091)

Relevance of the Contractual Solidarity at the Times of Pandemics (p. 1111)

Law after the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Fundamental Binomials (p. 1119)