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The article aims to answer the following question: how is it possible that in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, as a series of daily activities were suspended in the name of preserving life, police violence has not only continued but worsened in the United States and in Brazil? We argue that racism structures social relations both in the United States and in Brazil, functioning as an essential activity of states that remain involved in the production of different types of physical and symbolic death even amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Contrary to mainstream International Relations, which narrates its central categories – such as the state – as neutral and non-racialised, we will draw attention to the racial origin of the state and its institutions, such as the police. This article aims to look at these two contexts, Brazil and the United States, in a crossed way. This analysis is only possible because, despite the heterogeneity of the two scenarios, we understand that racism is constitutive of global order and of the institutions that sustain its unfair and unequal character.
This volume purports to provide an overview of the national and international measures developed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, and aims to serve as a “toolbox” for judges and practitioners. By the time the book goes to print, the coronavirus, we are afraid, has not finished its devastating work. Virus mutations were even threatening that worse is still to come. Vaccination, however, is hopefully showing a way out. Developments such as these make it difficult to predict what the future will bring. We have therefore refrained from presenting the reader with a fully-fledged conclusion. Instead, we intend to offer you some ideas of a methodological nature, as well as some acknowledgements.
As regards the methodology: how did our project come into being? The historical background is to be found in the late 20th century, when several working groups of legal academics from various countries emerged. Commissions, such as Ole Lando’s Commission on European Contract Law, were created and working groups, such as those begun by Christian von Bar, Giuseppe Gandolfiand Reiner Schulze, among others, came up with drafts for a European Civil Code. By the early years of the current millennium, such projects began to run out of steam. The work was done, the money was spent. This did not mean that the members of the various groups lost touch. On occasions such as New Year, or disasters – as perceived by many – such as Brexit, contacts were again taken up, instigated by academics such as Hugh Beale and Matthias Storme. Likewise, early in 2020, when the pandemic started spreading, the group of former Commission members, now at around 100 members, proposed the idea of turning the negative development of the pandemic into something positive. The idea of a special volume was born. Over the past few months, this project has come to fruition. We will now present the way in which we have approached our task.
One of the first questions posed was: what purpose should the volume have? Two options were raised. The majority of the potential authors considered a classical overview of the law the best option.
Producers and consumers play an important role in the fight against plastic pollution, particularly as far as single-use plastics (SUPs) are concerned, that depend on product eco-design and change in consumption patterns. The EU acknowledges the role of producers and consumers, and established goals for Member States, often in the form of rules addressed to the industry. The challenges caused by SUPs were, however, increased by the COVID-19 pandemic that led to an exponential production of protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, food packaging and take-away containers. This contribution thus purports to address the question of how nudging can foster sustainable practices regarding plastics in Europe during and after the coronavirus crisis. Based on the understanding that behavioural insights are useful to both policy and lawmakers and on statistical information available on the impact on consumer choice and the environment, this contribution demonstrates the utility of nudges in the particular COVID-19 scenario and concludes that consumers shall be given a prominent role in the orchestration of the transition to a sustainable plastics economy. In order to do so, the contribution: (1) describes the omnipresence of plastics in the products offered to consumers; (2) contextualises the European approach to SUPs in the pursuit for a circular economy; (3) summarises the impacts of the coronavirus crisis on the environment and on the law in Europe; (4) describes the role of stakeholders in a sustainable plastics economy; and (5) sets the importance of addressing consumer behaviour through nudging in the fight against SUPs.
THE OMNIPRESENCE OF PLASTICS IN THE WORLD OF CONSUMERS
Since their first appearance in 1907, several kinds of polymers have been developed, and we know all of them as “plastic”. Plastics are used for applications as diverse as packaging, electric and electronic equipment, construction, agriculture, healthcare, automotive, clothing, cosmetics, furniture, and toys.
Plastic products and materials are a popular product in modern daily life. They are durable, water resistant, highly functional, and versatile, and may be purchased for a relatively low cost. They have been rapidly and deeply ingrained in people’s day-to-day lives in such a way that we can speak today of an “addiction to plastics”.
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.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has brought immense suffering and death to a considerable number of people around the world. It has impacted fundamentally the functioning of States, their democratic institutions and legal systems. Therefore, it is understandable that governments have and are continuing to resort to exceptional measures in seeking to get control over the spread of COVID-19. These exceptional measures inevitably restrict the fundamental rights of citizens in ways that can be justified only in these extraordinary circumstances. It is in the greatest interest of society that these measures against COVID-19 are imposed and enforced within the framework of established democratic principles, the international legal order and the rule of law.
Therefore, although the spread of COVID-19 justifies limitations on the functioning of institutions such as Parliaments and courts, these limitations must be subject to democratic control, must not be misused and not applied for purposes other than measures related directly to the COVID-19 crisis.
The measures taken by governments such as mandatory quarantine, the closure of borders, restrictions in mobility, are also having a dramatic impact on business, trade and employment. It is essential that the legal measures taken to address the hardship and other difficulties caused by COVID-19 take into account principles of solidarity and fairness as well as the need for co-ordinated action between States at an international or EU level as appropriate.
In these circumstances, the European Law Institute (ELI), an entirely independent non-profit organisation established to provide practical guidance in relation to European legal development, puts forward a summary of some of the important legal issues that arise in relation to the COVID-19 crisis.
Its summary, made from an independent non-governmental perspective with due consideration of what has been published by other bodies, is set out in 15 principles. These are addressed to all European States (whether or not Member States of the EU), and are intended to guide European States, EU institutions and other bodies with the object of ensuring that everything that is done accords with the rule of law and democratic values.
Population-based seroprevalence studies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in low- and middle-income countries are lacking. We investigated the seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies in Sergipe state, Northeast Brazil, using rapid IgM−IgG antibody test and fluorescence immunoassay. The seroprevalence was 9.3% (95% CI 8.5–10.1), 10.2% (95% CI 9.2–11.3) for women and 7.9% (IC 95% 6.8–9.1) for men (P = 0.004). We found a decline in the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies according to age, but the differences were not statistically significant: 0–19 years (9.9%; 95% CI 7.8–12.5), 20–59 years (9.3%; 95% CI 8.4–10.3) and ≥60 years (9.0%; 95% CI 7.5–10.8) (P = 0.517). The metropolitan area had a higher seroprevalence (11.7%, 95% CI 10.3–13.2) than outside municipalities (8.0%, 95% CI 7.2–8.9) (P < 0.001). These findings highlight the importance of serosurveillance to estimate the real impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and thereby provide data to better understand the spread of the virus, as well as providing information to guide stay-at-home measures and other policies. In addition, these results may be useful as basic data to follow the progress of COVID-19 outbreak as social restriction initiatives start to be relaxed in Brazil.
A systematic study was performed concerning the production, characterization, and application of BDD and BDND films grown on Ti substrate to degrade brilliant green dye using an electrochemical flow reactor. Films were grown in a hot filament chemical vapour deposition (HFCVD) reactor using H2/CH4 (BDD) and H2/CH4/Ar (BDND) gas mixtures. Boron doping was performed by dissolution of B2O3 in methanol in the appropriate B/C ratio to obtain good conductive electrodes. The electrolysis was carried out using BDD/Ti and BDND/Ti as anode material analyzing the influence of different current densities and flow rates. During the electrolysis, aliquots of the treated solution were analyzed by UV-Vis and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) measurements. The electrode efficiencies were compared considering the color removal as well as the TOC mineralization in the end of each electrolysis. The absorption bands intensity from UV/Vis spectra clearly decreased up to their completely vanishing at current density of 100 mA/cm2 for both electrodes. These results were corroborated by TOC measurements where 50% of the organic material was removed.
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