Break or Bend in Case of Emergency? Rule of Law and State of Emergency in European Public Health Administration

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2019-38

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance Research Paper No. 2019-07

34 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2019 Last revised: 16 Mar 2020

See all articles by Filipe Brito Bastos

Filipe Brito Bastos

Independent

A. de Ruijter

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

Date Written: November 18, 2019

Abstract

When emergencies strike in the EU – a forest fire, a pandemic outbreak or a terrorist attack – these events are initially addressed by the executive branch. More particularly, they are addressed within the administrative branches where the authority, expertise and specialisation is organized for the particular urgent matters involved. In this paper, we ask what the impact is of the EU’s administrations role in responding to these events in terms of (changes to) the rule of law. A response to an emergency in some cases creates exceptions to upholding the rule of law guarantees that bind the authorities to procedural rules and fundamental rights. These changes can become more permanent and hence change the constitutional order of the EU. We ask if the EU administration breaks or bends the constitutionally derived administrative rules in case of an emergency and what are the constitutional implications of this practice? We conclude that emergencies can both bend and break the EU rule of law requirements for the EU administration, which poses significant questions of legitimacy, particularly so in cases of major health threats.

Keywords: public health emergencies, EU administrative law, urgent administrative procedures, rule of law, health law

JEL Classification: K4, K23, K32, K33

Suggested Citation

Bastos, Filipe Brito and de Ruijter, Anniek, Break or Bend in Case of Emergency? Rule of Law and State of Emergency in European Public Health Administration (November 18, 2019). Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2019-38. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3489240 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3489240

Filipe Brito Bastos

Independent

No Address Available
United States

Anniek De Ruijter (Contact Author)

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance ( email )

Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
REC A
Amsterdam, NH 1018WV
Netherlands
0205253445 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uva.nl/profiel/r/u/a.deruijter/a.de-ruijter.html

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
12
Abstract Views
170
PlumX Metrics