Emergencies and the Limits of Legality

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Most Modern States turn swiftly to law in an emergency. The global response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States was no exception and the wave of legislative responses is well documented. Yet there is an ever-present danger, borne out of historical and contemporary events, that even the most well-meaning executive, armed with emergency powers, will abuse them. And this inevitably leads to another common tendency in an emergency, to invoke law not only to empower the state, but also in a bid to constrain it. Can law constrain the emergency state or must the state at times act outside the law when its existence is threatened? If it must act outside the law, is such conduct necessarily fatal to aspirations of legality? This collection of essays - at the intersection of legal, political and social theory and practice - explores law's capacity to constrain state power in times of crisis.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review of the hardback: 'Combining a subtle appreciation of the complexities with brilliant insights into their resolution, together these essays form an important contribution and an intellectual feast.' Lucia Zedner, University of Oxford

Review of the hardback: 'This is an unusually fine collection of essays on one of the most important questions in legal and constitutional theory - the propriety of violating legal norms in times of emergency. What makes it especially illuminating is the way that the various essays are very much in dialogue - and sometimes in tension - with one another, as well as the ability of the international cast of essayists to draw from a very broad range of examples.' Sanford Levinson, University of Texas, Austin

Review of the hardback: 'Not only are the various chapter[s] linked and readable as one critical contribution, but they also tend to advance the previous scholarship of the authors themselves. … this is a collection whose contributions truly advance the theoretical landscape in this area and that must surely be attributed to the editorial hand of Ramraj. The quality and depth of the contributions remain uniformly strong throughout. … What distinguishes this volume … is the inclusion of perspectives from outside of the usually dominant Euro-American experiences. … Emergencies and the Limits of Legality successfully distinguishes itself as an essential collection for scholars and students interested in the serious normative and operative challenges posed by state responses to perceived emergencies.' The Irish Jurist

Review of the hardback: '… an extremely well-produced volume. It achieves a level of thematic integrity which is remarkable in collections of essays. … It clearly succeeds in [its] endeavour; it covers a wide range of perspectives, and in substantial depth. … it may be recommended to anyone who seeks insights into the theoretical considerations behind emergency laws.' The Singapore Year Book of International Law

Review of the hardback: 'Emergencies and the Limits of Legality is one of the more intellectually substantial of the many edited collections of scholarship that have been generated by the international academic community in response to the way in which governments have reacted to the terrorist attacks on the United States of 2001 and subsequent acts of political violence. … this book was conceived by its editor with an admirably precise focus upon which leading scholars in the field have contributed essays which, while offering a range of diverse and competing perspectives, come together as a collection with a most satisfying coherence.' Public Law

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521895996
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2008
  • Pages: 428
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Victor V. Ramraj is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore, where he also serves as Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 No doctrine more pernicious? Emergencies and the limits of legality Victor V. Ramraj Ramraj, Victor V. 3

Pt. 1 Legality and extra-legality 31

2 The compulsion of legality David Dyzenhaus Dyzenhaus, David 33

3 Extra-legality and the ethic of political responsibility Oren Gross Gross, Oren 60

Pt. 2 Conceptual and normative theories 95

4 Emergency logic: prudence, morality and the rule of law Terry Nardin Nardin, Terry 97

5 Indefinite detention: rule by law or rule of law? R. Rueban Balasubramaniam Balasubramaniam, R. Rueban 118

Pt. 3 Political and sociological theories 143

6 The political constitution of emergency powers: some conceptual issues Mark Tushnet Tushnet, Mark 145

7 A topography of emergency power Nomi Claire Lazar Lazar, Nomi Claire 156

8 Law, terror and social movements: the repression-mobilisation nexus Colm Campbell Campbell, Colm 172

Pt. 4 Prospective constraints on state power 199

9 Emergency strategies for prescriptive legal positivists: anti-terrorist law and legal theory Tom Campbell Campbell, Tom 201

10 Ordinary laws for emergencies and democratic derogation from rights Kent Roach Roach, Kent 229

11 Presidentialism and emergency government William E. Scheuerman Scheuerman, William E. 258

Pt. 5 Judicial responses to official disobedience 287

12 Necessity, torture and the rule of law A. P. Simester Simester, A. P. 289

13 Deny everything: intelligence activities and the rule of law Simon Chesterman Chesterman, Simon 314

Pt. 6 Post-colonial and international perspectives 335

14 Exceptions, bare life and colonialism Johan Geertsema Geertsema, Johan 337

15 Struggle over legality in the midnighthour: governing the international state of emergency Kanishka Jayasuriya Jayasuriya, Kanishka 360

16 Inter arma silent leges? Black hole theories of the laws of war C. L. Lim Lim, C. L. 385

Index 408

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