25 May 2022
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed mankind to a global health crisis unprecedented in scope and impact. Governments have deployed elaborate plans to alleviate the severe problems created by the reduced or complete shut-down of economic activity and the sealing of borders. Granted, virtually no measures have been taken to restore the equilibrium in affected business relationships. This lack of rigorous regulatory intervention raises the question of whether Private Law can fairly address the effects of the pandemic. To answer this question, this paper focuses on a three-dimensional review of the legal response to the problems created by this public health and economic crisis—past, present, future. How can Private Law facilitate the resolution of disputes and the salvage of existing business relationships? How can Private Law reinstate trust in distressed markets? How can Private Law foresee such crises and fairly allocate the burden of coping with their impact and effects between parties?