This Article examines the legal aspects of the Chinese government’s reaction to the SARS epidemic between November 2002 and June of 2003. It begins by tracing the development of the SARS epidemic and examining the different reactions of the Chinese Government to the outbreak before and after April 20, 2003. The Article further provides an in-depth analysis of the new SARS laws and problems the government encountered while enforcing them. While the Article contrasts the new laws to the 1989 law on infectious diseases, it also discusses the striking resemblances between the two. This Article concludes by arguing that changing China’s traditional indifference toward existing laws would be far more effective in preventing epidemics than its current approach of enacting new laws for the same purpose.
Epidemics, Public health law, Severe acute respiratory syndrome, China, International