26 Stud. Transnat'l Legal Pol'y 203 (1994)
Protection against Abuse of the Concept of Emergency

handle is hein.journals/stdtlp26 and id is 225 raw text is: CHAPTER 9

Protection against Abuse of the
Concept of Emergency
Joan Fitzpatrick
A. Introduction
Political and social crises present obvious threats to the
enjoyment of human rights. Governments have frequently
succumbed to the temptation to deflect criticism of their
human rights violations by pleas of emergency. Officials
may even be tempted to manufacture crises in order to justi-
fy their denials of fundamental rights. The inherent danger
and manipulability of states of emergency pose special con-
ceptual and enforcement problems for the international com-
Yet, after years of scholarly attention and constant innova-
tion in monitoring mechanisms by intergovernmental orga-
nizations (IGOs), human rights violations during states of
emergency remain a vexing problem. Several key tasks
require attention:
 The threshold of severity must be clarified for crises justi-
fying emergency measures consistent with the derogation
clauses of human rights treaties;
 The principle of proportionality must be applied more
strictly to suspensions of derogable1 rights, by treaty
implementation bodies and as a general principle of inter-
national law by other monitoring bodies;

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