Beginning in early 2020, governments around the world have grappled with how to best respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand and Sweden are located worlds apart, one in the northern hemisphere near the Arctic Circle, the other near the bottom of the southern hemisphere. Still, the countries share some similar characteristics: both are relatively small countries (with around five and ten million residents, respectively), with relatively high GDP per capita, and have long-established public health care systems. Their responses to COVID-19, however, are frequently noted in contrast to each other. New Zealand has taken an “elimination” approach, whereas Sweden has become internationally known for possibly pursuing “herd immunity.” As of September 8, 2020, New Zealand had 1,431 confirmed cases, while Sweden had 85,707 confirmed cases. Schools are currently open in both countries, and masks are generally not mandated (apart from on public transport in New Zealand). New Zealand adjusts its response level and, therefore, degree of restrictions, based on the current situation; Sweden states that its limited restrictions and recommendations have longevity and consistency, arguing that the measures imposed can thus be endured for a longer period of time.
To learn more about these nations’ respective responses to the coronavirus pandemic, please join us for the Law Library’s upcoming webinar, “Worlds Apart: Legal Responses to COVID-19 in New Zealand and Sweden,” at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 24, 2020. This webinar is the latest installment in the Law Library’s series of webinars focused on foreign and comparative law. In this webinar, the discussion will compare the two countries’ overarching policies and approaches, outline the relevant laws, and look at how the two governments have communicated with the public about the pandemic and the approaches taken.
The webinar will be presented by foreign law specialists Kelly Buchanan and Elin Hofverberg. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a B.A. in social policy from Victoria University of Wellington. She is qualified to practice law in New Zealand. Elin holds a Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from The George Washington University Law School and a Juris Doctor equivalent (Jur. kand.) from Uppsala University. She is a member of the New York State Bar and is also qualified to practice law in Sweden.
You can register for the webinar here.
We hope you can join us!