The COVID-19 Review Observatory

The COVID Review Observatory (CVRO) is a resource that records, tracks, and assesses reviews of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic from a human rights perspective

The CVRO studies what parliaments in Westminster, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh are doing to subject government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic to review. On the Observatory you will find records and analysis of these reviews, focusing on how independent they are, how evidence-based they are, how participatory they are, and how much they take into account the human rights impact of the pandemic responses they are reviewing. 

What is COVID-19 Review?

'COVID-19 review' is a term to describe the mechanisms by which government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are subjected to parliamentary review in the United Kingdom.

What Does the CVRO Do?

The CVRO studies COVID-19 review in the four parliaments in the United Kingdom, i.e. Westminster, the Welsh Assembly, the Northern Irish Assembly, and the Scottish Parliament. Through its original assessment instrument—the COVID Review Report Card—the CVRO will assess these reviews against five criteria: independence, rights framing, evidence, participation, and influence.

Committed, also, to improving engagement with human rights in COVID-19 review, the CVRO will make submissions to all reviews that allow them, seeking to ensure appropriate engagement with the rights-related impacts of government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why does COVID-19 Review Matter?

Review of government action enhances transparency about government action and enables us to understand and scrutinise the impacts of government action. It thus supports the accountability, transparency, and legitimacy of state action. 

In the context of COVID-19, review enables evidence-based assessment of laws and regulations that were, in some cases, introduced in great urgency, with limited parliamentary debate, and in the context of a fast-changing epidemiological and statistical landscape.

Research team

Supported by:

UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council logo



Rights, Data and Modes of Justification in Response to COVID-19: Reflections from the Pandemic

The Covid Review Observatory