Struggle Over Legality in the Midnight Hour: Governing the International State of Emergency
EMERGENCIES AND THE LIMITS OF LEGALITY, V. Ramraj, ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008
13 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2009 Last revised: 16 Feb 2010
Date Written: 2008
This essay explores the events of 9/11 and its aftermath as an international state of emergency that creates complex and layered jurisdictional practices within and beyond national states. This international emergency reframes jurisdictional practices that have shaped national constitutional formations. In effect, 9/11 is a global state of emergency, the distinctive nature of which is the growth of a new jurisdiction of emergency governance layered on to the domains of national and international law. It produces forms of administrative power and regulation pertaining to acts in both the international and national domains of governance that bends and makes elastic the boundaries between state and non state actors and civilians and combatants. We argue that in a important sense: ‘emergencies’ unsettled those jurisdictional practices that underpinned national legal and political institutions and gave rise to various forms of jurisdictional politics — a politics centered around settling the competing jurisdictional claims arising from the creation of sites of emergency governance.
Keywords: state of emergency, rule of law, Jamaica case, legalism, 9/11
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