The State’s Liability to Compensate Damages Caused by Public Disasters: Covid-19 Crisis as a Model – A Descriptive and Analytical Study in the Kuwaiti Law
Dr. Abdul Karim Rabie Al Anzi
Assistant Professor of Civil Law – Law Department – College of Business Studies – PAAET – Kuwait
The present study attempted to address whether the state is liable for compensating the victims of public disasters (COVID-19 as a model). The study was based on a descriptive and analytical methodology and divided into two parts.
Part one began by dealing with the constitutional basis for the state’s obligation to compensate the victims of Public Disasters. Subsection one considered whether an obligation on the state to compensate the victims of public disasters exists in Kuwaiti law in light of the doctrinal opinions and judicial precedents. Subsection two examined whether the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kuwait amounts to a public disaster. This examination is followed by a discussion on the meaning of the constitutional concept of social solidarity and the legal nature of the state obligation to compensate the victims of public disasters.
Part two is dedicated to the discussion of the civil liability of the state and its obligation to compensate the victims and is split into two sections. Subsection one analyzed the concept of state liability according to the general principles in civil liability and focused on investigating whether the state’s abstention to enact a law to compensate the victims of public disaster, including COVID-19, can be qualified as a legislative abstention and constitutes a wrongful act. Subsection two evaluated the state obligation to compensate the victims of the Public Disasters according to the Islamic principle of Liability of Personal Injury in which we discussed the conditions for the state obligation to compensate such injury and the instances for forfeiture of such guarantee.
Finally, the conclusion presented the results of the study and put forth some suggestions that emerged from the discussion.
Keywords: Obligation to Compensate, Public Disasters, Covid-19, Force Majeure, Fault by Abstention, Kuwait Constitution Article 25, State Auxiliary Liability