Public unrest, terrorist attacks, natural disasters and events of equal severity have in recent years prompted states to declare state of emergency. Sometimes, the proclamation of a public emergency is necessary or at least defendable, for example a natural disaster may call for special measures which could not be taken with full respect to the rights for all the obligations under human rights treaties. In other cases, public emergencies can be used as a smokescreen for repressive government policies. The permissibility of state of emergency under human rights law is a conflict between the societal interest and obligation of states to provide security for its citizens on the one hand and individual human rights such as privacy and due process on the other. This presentation will discuss the underlying theory and politics of emergency situations, the legal framework in a select number of countries and apply these insights to five recent cases or phenomena: counterterrorism; the Arab Spring; migration; the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa and economic crises.
This lecture is based on Mark Klamberg's paper 'Reconstructing the Notion of State of Emergency under Human Rights Law', which is available for download from SSRN.
Dr Mark Klamberg is a research fellow during 2018/2019 at the Law Faculty of the University of Oxford and affiliated with Christ Church college. He is an Associate Professor, Senior lecturer in Public International Law at Stockholm University and a visiting lecturer at Edinburgh University. He has previously been an Associate Professor and Senior lecturer in Public International Law at Uppsala University. He is the author of several publications on international criminal law, surveillance, privacy and other fields of international law, including ‘Evidence in International Criminal Trials: Confronting Legal Gaps and the Reconstruction of Disputed Events’ (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013) and ‘Power and Law in the International Society - International Relations as the Sociology of International Law’ (Routledge, 2015). He is the chief editor of the ‘Commentary on the Law of the International Criminal Court’ (TOAEP, 2017).
The lecture will take place at the Amsterdam School of Law, building REC A, room A3.01, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, Amsterdam.