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Law and Policing in the Era of Covid

Law and Policing in the Era of COVID logo
Law and Policing in the Era of Covid

In a constitutional democracy, the law and policing are intertwined. Every action of the police must be backed by law. The law, therefore, has to provide enabling legal framework to empower, with safeguards, police to perform their evolving functions. In the context of Covid-19, new challenges have emerged for policing. Predominantly, police are required to implement ‘social distancing’, ‘contact tracing’ and ‘lockdown’ strategies in collaboration with other functionaries of the state and with active involvement of the health professionals. Whereas ‘social distancing’ and ‘lockdowns’ are preventive in nature, the ‘contact tracing’ is detection-based. The skills and legal frameworks required to deal with both sets of strategies are different. Due to sudden onset of the pandemic, police have been, without any training, required to undertake the implementation. These functional challenges necessitated actions that required sanction of law. The instant write-up will briefly present a survey of the legal framework of Pakistan; besides, the UK law and the INTERPOL Guidelines will be presented to show that practices in Pakistan are no different from international trends.

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