CfP: 'Abuse of the Constitution in Times of Emergency' - Workshop #2 IACL World Congress


This Workshop will inquire into the risk of abusing constitutional emergency clauses for purposes beyond what is necessary to respond to the emergency with measures that would legitimately aim at the restoration of normalcy while at the same time effectively containing the threat to the nation. The types of “abuses” we hope to discuss on the basis of papers submitted from Workshop participants include:

  • Invoking the emergency clause(s) in the absence of any actual emergency;
  • Using an emergency as an opportunity to introduce permanent change, in contrast to temporary measures aimed at the restoration of normalcy;
  • Deploying emergency powers to curtail opposition (political parties, new social movements, dissidents, trade unions, free media, indigenous peoples, or minority or religious groups);
  • Re-organizing the state administration with the purpose or effect of purging the administration, judiciary or academia of people not regarded as “loyal” to the regime;
  • Centralizing powers into the hands of the executive at the expense of the elected parliament or the constituent units of a federal state;
  • Breaching non-derogable rights;
  • Invoking an emergency for the wholesale suspension of fundamental rights, rather than imposing measured restrictions upon them;
  • Introducing restrictions to rights that as such are subject to legitimate derogation but without satisfying the requirements of necessity and proportionality;
  • Using the emergency clause(s) to legitimize breaches of the country’s international commitments, including human rights obligation.

We welcome submissions from scholars of all levels, including doctoral candidates in law and related disciplines. We will endeavor to assemble a group that reflects a diversity of perspectives, national origins, seniority and methodological approaches.

Submission instructions are available here:

All submissions should indicate the name, institutional affiliation and contact information of the author(s). All abstracts should also state clearly the title of the Workshop for which it is intended.

We look forward to leading a productive and enjoyable Workshop in Seoul, and we hope to see you there.