a network of constitutionalists from countries throughout the world
Over the coming days, we will be featuring each of the 20 workshops in the 10th IACL World Congress 2018 on “VIOLENT CONFLICTS, PEACE-BUILDING AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW”, being held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 18-22 June 2018. Full details are on the congress website, in English and French, along with information on how to submit a paper. Papers may be in either French or English.
Predicting the unpredictable: such is the critical task assigned to the law of exception.
The rules of law established for peaceful times are not always adapted to times of war or crisis. Peaceful times are governed by rules of law not always suitable in crisis or war time. The proper authorities used to making the decisions can prove too far away from the ground or too slow to intervene in such a way that their powers must be transferred to other more effective authorities. The procedures and warranties usually imposed for decision-making may excessively slow down public action and should therefore be shortened or removed. Respecting the rights and liberties that are normally imposed on public authorities will sometimes constitute an obstacle to the regulation of the crisis and the restoration of public order and security. Limits will therefore be necessary by imposing constraints on citizens. Accordingly, aspects of procedural and substantive constitutional law will have to undergo the required inflections. Sometimes, statute law already has a legislative arsenal applicable to crisis situations which it will be enough to start if an emergency occurs. Sometimes, on the contrary, the legislator did not or could not have foreseen the particular adaptations to prevent the crisis. Therefore, under the supervision of a magistrate who will check the proportionality of the emergency measures, public authorities will spontaneously be able to derogate from the normal duty but at least above some lowest standards in conformity with rule of law and constitutional principles.
All legal systems throughout the world provide for the adoption of emergency measures to deal with crisis situations.
In «The Spirit of the Law», Montesquieu wrote: «the use of the freest people who have ever been on earth makes me think that there are times when we must put on a veil over freedom as we hide the statues of the gods ».
It is this serious issue that the present workshop proposes to consider by welcoming papers dealing with the protection of constitutional laws in times of crisis or emergency.
Communications may consider the problem from a general theoretical point of view or focus on comparative national cases by dealing with rights and freedoms in general or specific aspects.