Melbourne Forum 2020: Webinar 4

Webinar 4: Beyond representation - independent and international institutions

The fifth Melbourne Forum on Constitution Building in Asia and the Pacific has been organised as a series of four online seminars. The fourth webinar was held on 24 September 2020.

Video of Webinar 4 - Melbourne Forum 2020

This session put the theme of representation in broader context, by examining the role of other institutions in responding to the pandemic, both domestic and international. In terms of domestic institutions, the session focused on courts and fourth branch institutions. It also explored the respective roles of states and the international order in dealing with an emergency of this kind, in particular the WHO and the UN.

Case studies were presented from:

Questions to guide discussion included:

  • What other features of the constitutional system affected the state’s response to the emergency?
  • What role did ‘independent’ institutions play during this period? Did they have a plan for carrying out their roles in these circumstances?
  • What role did experts play and within what organizational/structural framework?
  • What role did courts play in responding to the emergency? Were courts inhibited/precluded from review by the facts of the emergency?
  • What role did international institutions play in responding to the emergency?
  • What does the experience of this pandemic suggest about the respective roles of states and international institutions and the relationship between them?