Providing for the Unexpected: Constitutional Emergency Provisions

31 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2004

See all articles by Oren Gross

Oren Gross

University of Minnesota Law School


The article seeks to examine some of the general patterns with respect to treating emergencies as they are reflected in domestic constitutional arrangements. The article explores existing constitutional emergency arrangements of over seventy countries around the world, attempting to classify some of the important attributes of such constitutional arrangements into meaningful categories. Specifically, the article examines the various constitutional options with respect to such questions as: (1) how (and whether) to define a state of emergency in the constitutional document; (2) who has the power and authority to declare a state of emergency (and to terminate such a declaration); (3) what political and judicial control (if any) exists under the constitutional framework over the use of emergency powers; and (4) what are the legal ramifications of declaring a state of emergency with respect, for example, to the protection of individual rights and civil liberties and the possibility of suspending the constitution, in whole or in part.

Keywords: Emergency Powers, Constitutional Law

Suggested Citation

Gross, Oren, Providing for the Unexpected: Constitutional Emergency Provisions. Available at SSRN:

Oren Gross (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

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Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
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612-625-2011 (Fax)


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