Aim. The global pandemic of coronavirus infection has posed challenges and pressing problems that need to be addressed by balancing new private rights and public interests in education. On the one hand, young people’s constitutional and individual rights to health care, education, and a safe environment during the educational process. On the other hand, the protection of public health and education are objects of public interest and require legal action and actions by the relevant state authorities to contain the overall epidemic situation, taking into account the interests of all subjects of law. The main purpose of the study presented in this article is to identify current conflicts and new balances between private rights and public interest in the educational process and analyse ways of legal action for their optimal harmonization.
Methods. The study is based on an analysis of international and national legal and regulatory instruments, court decisions and a comparison of the positions of scholars from the published results. The main objectives of the study are: to identify new dimensions of the balance between the right to education for young people and the public interest during the pandemic; and to summarise the state’s practice of ensuring individual rights to health, education and safe conditions during the educational process, taking into account the rights of other subjects and the interest of society as a whole.
Results. The results of the study have shown that in today’s globalised world, complicated by pandemic risk, the rights of certain categories of individuals can only be secured in balance with the rights and interests of other subjects and the public interest of the entire society. In particular, young people’s rights to education must be balanced with the rights to life, to health, to a safe educational environment, taking into account the public interest in effectively overcoming the health, social and humanitarian problems and consequences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conclusions. The line of demarcation between private rights and public interest in today’s world is fluid and depends on objective circumstances that require changes in priorities to determine the balance of interests. It is precisely such a change that has been recognised as necessary by the exigent circumstances of the threat of a deadly epidemic. States have now turned to appropriate legal developments that recognize the desirability of new limitations on the rights of citizens and of imposing new obligations on them, including in the area of education. These measures and their implications need to be further monitored and analysed in order to assess and adjust to the dynamics of the epidemic situation.
Keywords: right to education, right to health, youth rights, public health, balance of rights, private rights, public interest, pandemic.