States of Emergency: Analysing Global Use of Emergency Powers in Response to COVID-19

(2020) 4 European Journal of Law Reform 338-354

17 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2021

See all articles by Joelle Grogan

Joelle Grogan

UK in a Changing Europe; CEU Democracy Institute

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

The measures taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic have been among the most restrictive in contemporary history, and have raised concerns from the perspective of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Building on a study of the legal measures taken in response to pandemic in 74 countries, this article considers the central question of the use of power during an emergency: is it better or worse for democracy and the rule of law to declare an emergency or, instead, to rely on ordinary powers and legislative frameworks? The article then considers whether the use of powers (ordinary or emergency) in response to the pandemic emergency has ultimately been a cause, or catalyst of, further democratic deconsolidation. It concludes on a note of optimism: an emerging best practice of governmental response reliant on public trust bolstered by rationalized and transparent decision-making and the capacity to adapt, change and reform measures and policies.

Keywords: coronavirus, emergency law, emergency powers, autocratization, democratic deconsolidation, state of emergency, rule of law, transparency, accountability, legislative scrutiny

Suggested Citation

Grogan, Joelle, States of Emergency: Analysing Global Use of Emergency Powers in Response to COVID-19 (2020). (2020) 4 European Journal of Law Reform 338-354, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3795581

Joelle Grogan (Contact Author)

UK in a Changing Europe ( email )

Strand
London, England WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

CEU Democracy Institute ( email )

Nador u. 13
Budapest
Hungary

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