August 19, 2022

The state of emergency is an extraordinary legal situation based on a public law announcement by a government that the normal situation and legislation is temporarily no longer applicable. During a state of emergency, a government can act very decisively, without first asking for permission or consulting with residents. In the event of natural disasters, such as a flood, earthquake or hurricane, a state of emergency can be declared. The state of emergency at war is called "state of war". In even more serious cases (e.g. supplies cut off, city surrounded) martial law can be declared. Special judicial powers are hereby assigned to the military authority. A law in which this is regulated is sometimes called a martial law. In Dutch law (W.v.Str. art 40), a state of emergency is a ground for exclusion from punishment, if the failure to commit the punishable act would result in a disadvantage that could only be prevented by committing the criminal offence.

In a dictatorship

The state of emergency has proved to be a favorite tool of dictators, because of its strengthened government powers and weakened control. In some countries such as Syria, the state of emergency has been in effect for years. For these reasons, according to Amnesty International, a state of emergency should only last 90 days and must be reported to the UN according to the BuPo treaty.

After World War II

For the "state of siege" in Poland from 1981 to 1983, see History of Poland and Jaruzelski.

Twenty-first century

United States of America as of September 11, 2001 Pakistan from November 3 to December 15, 2007 Egypt from August 14 to November 12, 2013 Thailand from May 20, 2014 to April 1, 2015 France (état d'urgence, a lower level than état de siège) as of November 14, 2015 Tunisia from November 24, 2015 Venezuela as of May 14, 2016 Turkey as of July 20, 2016 Philippines as of September 4, 2016 Ethiopia as of October 8, 2016 United States of America as of February 15, 2019 Italy from January 31, 2020 United States of America as of March 13, 2020 Spain from March 14, 2020 Ukraine from February 24, 2022

In the Netherlands

Since the introduction of the Coordination Act on Exceptional Conditions in 1996, The Netherlands has two types of emergency: "limited emergency" and "general emergency". If the government declares a limited or general state of emergency by royal decree and this decree is published in the Official Gazette, all kinds of emergency measures can be implemented. These emergency measures are referred to in laws such as the Extraordinary Powers of Civil Authority Act, the War Act for the Netherlands, the Emergency Justice Act, the Population Relocation Act, the Military Inundations Act, the Conscription Framework Act, the Quartering Act, the Emergency Transport Act, the Harbor Emergency Act, the Hamster Act, the Distribution Act, the Claim Act, the Emergency Food Facilities Act, the Emergency Employment Act. , Emergency Medicines Act, Emergency Financial Traffic Act and the Compulsory Navigation Act. The government can then proceed, for example, to evacuate the population, demand all kinds of aid workers and aids, declare areas to be prohibited areas or impose a curfew. In the event of an imminent dike breach, a state of emergency can be declared. Various emergency ordinances can then come into effect. A water board can immediately reinforce flood defenses without consultation with owners, tenants or other parties involved.

In Belgium

From a constitutional point of view, Belgium does not have a state of emergency. In it, the constituent of 1830 showed a stronger faith in the rule of law than the drafters of the ECHR 120 years later, who allowed an exceptional regime in Article 15. It is the Constitution itself that prohibits its total or partial suspension (Article 187). In wartime, martial law does apply, at least according to the Decree Act of 1916. Then the army can act without judicial control.