Urban Law Day Webinar: The Post-COVID City: Lessons for the Future in Law and Development (10 July 2020)

Today, I was one of the invited speakers at the Urban Law Day webinar organised by UN Habitat jointly with the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies at the University of London. The theme for the day was “The Post-Covid City: Lessons for the Future in Law and Development”. I delivered a presentation entitled “Rights-clashes, legal fault-lines and COVID-19 in South Africa’s informal settlements”. The presentation was informed by my recent involvement in the South African Department of Human Settlements’ policy response to the pandemic in informal settlements. It also forms the basis of a more theoretical, current research project in which I examine how shortcomings of South African jurisprudential understandings of the constitutional rights to health and housing have complicated the formulation of a rights-based policy response. The other speakers at today’s event were Geeta Tewari from the Urban Law Center at Fordham University in New York, who spoke on possibilities for equal pay and human rights law in post-pandemic New York; UN Habitat’s Robert Lewis-Lettington, who contemplated worldwide right-to-housing responses to the pandemic and lessons for global housing law; and Anna Paula Pimentel Walker from the University of Michigan, who discussed access to justice and socio-economic rights during the pandemic in Brazil. Robert Home from Anglia Ruskin University briefly discussed our presentations from the perspective of the City of London’s experiences with COVID-19. Thank you to IALS’ Maria Mousmouti and UN Habitat’s Anne Klen Amin for a great event.

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