Vulnerable Populations in the Context of COVID-19: Foreword to the Arizona State Law Journal Online Symposium

Jennifer D. Oliva & Valena E. Beety.

The widespread global transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19, has altered, injured, and ended the lives of numerous individuals across various communities and nations. It has been well-documented that certain long-neglected populations are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 severe illness and death and, as a result, have been disparately victimized by the pandemic. This Arizona State Law Journal Online Symposium, Vulnerable Populations in the Context of COVID-19, is a compilation of the work of diverse scholarly voices that aims to raise awareness about—and propose reforms to remedy—the legal and policy challenges that have—and continue to—perpetuate adverse health harms on the most vulnerable in our communities. Symposium contributors include international scholars, medical doctors, clinical law professors litigating on behalf of vulnerable clients, and distinguished senior and junior law professors. This collection of unique scholarly voices is due to outstanding support from the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Sections on Law and Mental Disability, Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples, Disability Law, and Poverty Law; the Academy for Justice, a criminal justice policy center at Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law; and the tireless work of the student editors at the Arizona State Law Journal. We hope this foreword provides an overview that encourages readers to engage with the insightful essays in this online symposium.

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