Globale samfunnsutfordringer
Bergen Exchanges 2020

Inequality and Law in Times of Crisis

Opening Keynote of the Bergen Exchanges by Malcolm Langford

Elvis Bekmanis



The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed, once again, the deep and persistent socio-economic inequalities in society. Across the world, marginalised and low-income groups have suffered the most from both infection transmission and the effects of lockdowns. In this lecture, Malcolm Langford will discuss the possibilities and limitations of using law to tackle inequality, with a focus on socio-economic rights and the current crisis. He will argue that while human rights law holds untapped potential, it will be the strategic framing and mobilisation of law by all actors that will shape and inflect the long-term impact of COVID-19 on inequality.


Malcolm Langford is a Professor of Public Law, University of Oslo and Co-Director of the Centre on Law and Social Transformation, Chr. Michelsen Institute and University of Bergen. He is also the Director of the  Centre on Experiential Legal Learning (CELL), a Centre of Excellence in Education (SFU). A lawyer and social scientist, his publications span human rights, international investment and development, comparative constitutionalism, technology, and the politics of the legal profession. He is the Co-Editor of the Cambridge University Book Series on Globalization and Human Rights, Chairperson of the Academic Forum for Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), and acts as an advisor to various UN bodies, governments and NGOs. His books include Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa: Symbols or Substance? (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and the Oxford Handbook on Economic and Social Rights (2020/2021) and he has won a series of prizes for his critical empirical work on international investment arbitration and university education. Before joining academia, he was a Senior Legal Officer at the Centre for Housing Rights and Evictions (2001-2006).



You can attend the seminar physically at Bergen Global (limited places) or watch the seminar on Zoom. 


This event is part of the Bergen Exchanges on Law and Social Transformation. It is free and open to all. Please note that according to corona virus regulations all participants must keep a distance of at least one metre from each other and maintain good hand hygiene. Your name and phone number will be registered and kept for 10 days. If you have any respiratory tract symptoms you should stay at home.

According to the infection control measures, we need to have an overview of who is present at all times and thus kindly ask all who plans to participate to sign up beforehand via this link.  

Seating is limited, so first come, first served.