Paul de Hert (BE)

Prof Dr Privacy & Technology and Criminal Law

Paul De Hert is a Full Professor and Co-director of the Fundamental Rights Research Centre (FRC) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium, and Associated Professor at Tilburg University (TILT), Netherlands. Throughout his career, De Hert has written extensively on privacy and technology, human rights and criminal law. A human rights approach combined with a concern for theory is the common denominator of all his work.

Good and Bad Laws in a Pandemic Control society
In my presentation I will explain how during the Pandemic the technology based control state and the biopolitical surfaced in an unprecedented partnership (these concepts will be explained). Police forces, central and local authorities joined forces with medical experts that dictated how the human kind had to be protected against the new virus enemy. War rhetorics and ‘there is no alternative’-messages reminded us of post 9/11 strategies. The security shape that we know today was shaped through mass mobilization, mass media use, massive use of resources and … bad laws. We will discuss three categories of bad laws that emerged in the post 9/11 era: vage and empty laws, broad and symbolic laws and of course disproportional rights eroding defence rights and civil liberties.
In the pandemic era more categories of bad laws came to the fore: soft laws and -depending on the definition of soft laws- also non laws like nudges
All these categories will be discussed as a step towards a possible definition of good laws.