Category: Law and Ethics

Terror Did Not Strike Indiscriminately

22nd JULY 2011: a terrorist killed 68 young people and bombed the Government Quarter, where he killed nine people and injured many more, because the ‘Labour-Party state’ was promoting ethnic, religious and political diversity. “Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak out for me.” Thus, the Lutheran pastor… Read more »

On Words and World-Making:  Law professors, power and responsibility

On 6 May 2021, something extraordinary happened in Norwegian academia: in an op-ed in the newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad, Ole Gjems-Onstad, a law professor at BI Norwegian Business School (BI), criticized the Labour Party and 22 July survivors for a lack of self-criticism. The op-ed was met with disbelief, horror and condemnation by survivors, newspaper editors,… Read more »

Norwegian Quarantine Hotels: Infection Control or Penal Measure?

Quarantine hotels and Easter trips According to the Norwegian government, quarantine hotels are an infection-control measure. In this blog post we contest this view, and argue that the rules are penal in character. “We” are all Norwegian: four medical doctors, one psychologist, and three jurists. The rules distinguish between “necessary” and “unnecessary” travel, but the… Read more »

Why digital vaccine passports are a bad idea: the Norwegian perspective

Expanding the use of Covid-19 digital vaccine passports to domestic purposes would in practice represent a return to the checkpoint permit (in Norwegian ‘passerseddel’, in German “Passierschein”), a form of internal passport. This type of document is associated with authoritarian regimes and with war and conflict, last used in Norway during the Second World War.

Tech-Based States of Emergency: some key takeaways

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the acceleration of pre-existing technological trends. As states introduce new rules and technological solutions to fight the pandemic, it can be tempting to view these technological applications as neutral scientific decisions. However, we must critically examine these decisions because times of crisis set standards which can last long after the… Read more »

Public-Private Partnerships during COVID-19: time to ask some questions

To say that the world was not prepared for a pandemic is an understatement. The point was made early on that in order to overcome COVID-19 and make it to the other side, it was “all hands-on deck”. This included individuals, health experts, governments, the private sector and – the focus of this piece –… Read more »

The individual, the national, and the global: New connections in times of China-US confrontation

As the ongoing confrontation between the US and China has entered the technological and digital realms, we are pushed to rethink the relationship between individuals, nations and the entire world as more fluid than it has ever been before. While we grapple with these changes, the EU is on the right path ahead, but other… Read more »

COVID-19 puts India’s e-governance infrastructure and innovation to the test

India’s e-governance and digitalization drive harnesses ‘smart’ technology in an effort to generate new economic opportunities, boost economic growth, govern more efficiently with less corruption, and distribute relief and benefits to the poor and disadvantaged more effectively. In April 2015, India’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a National… Read more »