state of emergency

by Dr. Alkmini Fotiadou, Centre For European Constitutional Law. In recent years we are increasingly challenged to revisit the notion of emergency powers. The response to the Paris attacks is only the latest episode, while the concept of (undeclared) emergency was frequently used in the financial crisis jurisprudence. In a very interesting paper, Christian Bjørnskov (Aarhus University Denmark) and Stefan Voigt (University of Hamburg, Germany) point out that little is known about the amount of additional powers granted to governments acting under a state of emergency, the trends in the evolution of emergency provisions over time, and the factors that cause societies to adopt them in the first place.
by Annemarie Stomp, Research intern with the State of Emergency Project and Prof. Dr. Andrej Zwitter, University of Groningen. Ukraine remains unstable and might be facing a civil war. On the 16th of March, based on a referendum Crimea separated itself (at least de facto) from the Ukraine and the Russian State Duma ratified an agreement that makes Crimea part of the Russian Federation. Subsequently, armed groups began seizing government buildings also in the eastern part of Ukraine. By the 16th of April, protesters controlled administrative buildings in eight cities of the Donetsk Oblast.
by Prof. Dr. Andrej Zwitter, University of Groningen After 44 years of reign by emergency powers, the Egyptian people forced President Mubarak to resign on 11 February 2011. While Egypt has ratified the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1982, since then it has not declared any of its human rights derogations under Article 4 ICCPR as the State of Emergency Mapping Database illustrates.

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Swiss votations on February 9, 2020

by Prof. Markus Kern / Fabian Schmid, University of Bern

On February 9, 2020, two proposals were up for decision by the Swiss electorate:
– the Popular Initiative claiming “more affordable homes” as well as
– a referendum concerning a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation in criminal law
The Popular Initiative was rejected by 57.1% of the Swiss population and by all but 4½ of the cantons, whereas the amendment of criminal law was clearly accepted by a majority of 63.1% of the voters. Electoral turnout was at 41.7% resp. 40.9%.

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Illiberal constitutionalism 2 – constraints on public power

by Tímea Drinóczi, Professor, University of Pécs, Faculty of Law, Hungary

Illiberal states emerging in Europe, such as Hungary and Poland, are still constitutional democracies, which are shaped peacefully by populist politicians from a more substantial form of constitutional democracy that prioritizes (liberal) constitutional values through the use of populist style of governance, abusive constitutionalism, and autocratic legalism.[1] In our cases, the minimum requirements of a constitutional democracy, such as the rule of law, human rights, and democracy, have been defectively worded in a constitution, or poorly implemented or enforced.

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