Disaster Law

 

Since the early 2000s lawyers have been examining the ways in which the law can support the effective management of all types of disaster. The COVID-19 Pandemic—during which more laws had to be made in more countries in respect of one event than ever before—has highlighted the role the law plays in dealing with any emergency and the importance for all countries of having an effective, comprehensive legal framework for the management of every phase of a disaster and every type of disaster risk.

Much of this work has been at the international level or has been undertaken by academic lawyers. The COVID-19 Pandemic emphasised that, for all the talk of international health regulations and new pandemic treaties, the core legal components of disaster management are effective national laws and the domestic practitioners (usually within governments or public authorities) who have to devise and implement them.

Based on Knightwood Legal’s practical experience of advising on all aspects of disaster and emergency management at the national, regional and international level—as well as its involvement in the development of the field of disaster law through its research and publications—we are uniquely placed to advise on the implementation of domestic disaster management laws, including identifying areas of good practice and exemplar legislation.  

We also believe in supporting the development of domesstic legal capacity and encouraging peer to peer working as a means of ensuring that suitable disaster management laws can be developed by all states.

 

Services we offer

Based on this experienc, the services we are able to offer include:

  • Researching any aspect of the laws relating to disaster management;
  • Analysing existing disaster and emergency management laws and producing reports on the ways in which appropriate disaster laws can be introduced or enhanced;
  • Drafting disaster managment legislation, including laws to implement international or regional instruments;
  • Advising on the legal issues arising in respect of all phases and aspects of disaster management, including disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness, disaster response and disaster recovery.

 

For advice on any aspect of disaster law, please contact: information@knightwoodlegal.com

 

Recent projects

Consultant to and main author of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ research project on the legal response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Law and Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic’; and Guidance on Law and Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response - Pilot Version.

Principal author of a review of the UK’s disaster management legislation for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Undertaking a four-year project implementing international maritime conventions, including those designed to reduce the risk of maritime disasters, in a number of island territories.

Contributor to Reading University’s initial Global Crisis, Conflict and Disaster Management Programme

 

Publications

Law and Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 8 July 2021).

Guidance on Law and Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response - Pilot Version(International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 8 July 2021).

"I Must Go Down to the Seas Again'- Article on International Maritime Disaster Law in Yearbook of International Disaster Law 2019 (Brill, February 2021)

The Protection of Knowing: The Evolving Concept of Early Warning and States’ Obligations to Inform of Disaster Risk and Warn of Disaster  in the Cambridge Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction and International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

The Protection of Knowing: The Laws of Early Warning: Symposium Paper- Reading University/ American Society of International Law Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction, June 2017

Chapter on National Contingency Planning in Research Handbook on Disasters and International LawEdward Elgar, September 2016.

 

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