South Africa Supports Sharing Anti-COVID-19 Health Products and Technology Access Pool

On May 14, President Cyril Ramaphosa joined 139 other heads of state, former heads of state, and other prominent public figures in a letter announcing support for The People’s Vaccine (https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/featurestories/2020/may/20200514_covid19-vaccine-open-letter).  The letter stated that: ‘Governments and international partners must unite around a global guarantee which ensures that, when a safe and effective vaccine is

Academics call for Amendments to the Patent Law in response to COVID-19

The following letter, which was drafted by UKZN academics and signed by some 82 academics and researchers nationally, was sent to the President in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. AN APPEAL TO PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA BY ACADEMICS, RESEARCHERS AND TEACHERS TO EXPEDITE THE AMENDMENTS TO THE PATENTS ACT 57 OF 1978, IN LINE WITH

South Africa, SOLIDARITY and COVID-19: Law and ethics in clinical trials

On 3 April 2020, it was reported in Nature that African nations were largely not involved in clinical trials for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for increased participation by African states in its SOLIDARITY trial, a global study of four potential COVID-19 treatments. Researchers are pushing for

Remote justice & COVID-19: South Africa lags behind

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on so many aspects of our lives – including access to justice. The contradictory directives that have been issued, and amended and replaced on a regular basis show that the courts and the justice ministry were completely blindsided by the national emergency. In the USA, there was

Caution, Compensation and COVID-19: Facilities on the Frontline

The COVID-19 Regulations provide that every person (with a few limited exceptions) must be confined to their place of residence for the duration of the lockdown. Healthcare workers, such as doctors, nurses, and paramedics, are categorised as essential workers and are exempted from this restriction. There are penalties for non-compliance. For instance, any person who

‘Big Brother’ May Be Tracking You During the COVID-19 Pandemic!

Is the South African Government justified in monitoring your whereabouts during the COVID-19 pandemic? The short answer is yes – if you are known to have COVID-19 or are reasonably suspected to have contracted it. In a State of Disaster, in these unprecedented times, individual monitoring measures are both lawful and reasonable for the reasons