Scholars from St Petersburg University have taken part in an international project to produce a thematic collection of articles on 'Coronavirus and the Law in Europe'. This is the largest academic publication on the impact of the pandemic on lawmaking and law enforcement. The book was published by Intersentia, a Cambridge-based publisher. Its authors include 80 legal scholars and practitioners from across Europe.

The article on the changes in Russian law was contributed by: Professor Anton Rudokvas; Associate Professor Ekaterina Dmitrikova; Associate Professor Andrei Novikov; and Associate Professor Elena Sychenko.

The COVID-19 pandemic became a challenge for the Russian legal system and provoked a number of changes in legislation and law enforcement practices. ‘The largest number of novelties appeared in administrative law, which had to adapt to numerous new restrictions on the rights of citizens related to the enforcement of the sanitary and epidemiological regime established by the authorities,’ said Ekaterina Dmitrikova, Associate Professor of St Petersburg University.

Labour law has also undergone major changes due to the shift of workers to telecommuting. Social security law has been affected as the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic response has had a negative impact on the economic position of a large group of the population who had to seek support from the state.

The experts from St Petersburg University observed that the civil law was the least affected by the pandemic.

It is coping with the new challenges by using traditional tools of legal regulation that have been tried and tested for centuries.

Professor Anton Rudokvas, St Petersburg University

The main change in the civil sphere is the increasing role of such forms of updating the effective legislation as executive orders and interpretations by higher courts issued for the purpose of interpreting the existing laws in the light of the new circumstances.

The book 'Coronavirus and the Law in Europe' presents a unified view from the legal community in Europe on the development of the law in response to the challenges of the pandemic. The book can serve as a toolbox for national and European courts dealing with the interpretation of 'covidual' legislation and administrative proceedings. A comparison of foreign experiences with national regulation might also be of interest to national legislators. The publication is also intended to benefit businessmen and individuals who wish to learn about the legal implications of anti-covid measures for their activities, for example, in the areas of contract formation, its performance and termination.