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Emergencies and the Limits of Legality
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Book description

Most modern states turn swiftly to law in an emergency. The global response to the 11 September 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 by historical and contemporary events, that even the most well-meaning executive, armed with extraordinary powers, will abuse them. 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.

Reviews

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.'

Source: 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.'

Source: 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.'

Source: Public Law

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