Courts, accountability and democracy under COVID-19
Danie Brand (University of the Free State)

In the COVID-19 crisis, with other of the usual mechanisms of democratic accountability such as regular parliamentary oversight absent, and with accountability through elections rendered irrelevant by the acuity and immediacy of the crisis, people have often turned to the courts to exact accountability from and assert democratic control over the state. For a time, courts became the only available formal channels through which to exact democratic accountability. In my paper I wish to consider a number of the most prominent judgments rendered during this time, as instantiations of democracy under COVID-19. What, if anything do these judgments tell us of democracy in times of crisis? What models or understandings of democracy do we see operating in them? Can we extrapolate anything from them about the state and nature of our democracy more generally?