Rule of law International

States of Emergency and the Rule of Law: A Primer

What is a state of emergency? And what makes it good or bad? Find out in States of Emergency and the Rule of Law: A Primer

As the covid-19 pandemic spreads, governments around the world have introduced strict measures to fight off the virus. Human rights are curtailed, parliaments and courts do not function normally in many places. These restrictions are often accompanied by a declaration of a state of emergency. But what does ‘state of emergency’ mean in reality? And how does one distinguish between a legitimate and a problematic state of emergency?

DRI has written a primer to answer these questions and contribute to a factual debate on the legitimacy of government action taken in response to the coronavirus that is based on international standards.

Democracy Reporting International (DRI) works to improve public understanding of the rule of law in the EU as part of the re:constitution programme funded by Stiftung Mercator. Sign-up for DRI’s newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out more about the rule of law in Europe.


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