Title: Rethinking emergencies and constitutional rights in a time of terror threat in the Czech Republic: a need for recalibration of emergency law?

Authors: Lukas Hrabovsky

Addresses: Department of Constituonal Law, Palacky University Olomouc, Tř. 17. listopadu 8, Olomouc, 771-11, Czech Republic; Departamento de Derecho Público, Universidad de Oviedo, Campus del Cristo s/n, E-33006, Spain

Abstract: Nowadays, governments are facing several security issues endangering directly security of state and individual freedoms; one of them is terrorism. Accordingly, terrorism endangers not only national security but also a paradigm of modern constitutionality by pushing governments to meet the terrorist threat on its own playground. Ensuring security and ability to defend state and citizens is one of the essential functions of modern democratic state based on the rule of law and it is also presupposition of every state's sovereignty. One of the instruments serving to ensure and preserve security of state and individuals are emergencies. When facing terrorist threat, governments usually stand before a difficult question: Should constitutional safeguards be ignored, suspend or even removed in time of terrorist threat? Should we activate 'emergency powers' which enable governments to overcome crisis and restore state of normalcy? More recently, another interesting question closely linked with relationship between terrorism and emergency follows the surface: Should governments adopt special state of emergency law to combat terrorism or can they operate sufficiently with existing regimes of emergency? This dilemma will be addressed in the context of Czech legal order.

Keywords: terrorism; constitutional rights; limitation; suspension; fundamental rights; security; emergency; state menace.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRCS.2017.089724

International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, 2017 Vol.5 No.3/4, pp.316 - 341

Received: 01 Jun 2017
Accepted: 03 Jun 2017

Published online: 08 Feb 2018 *

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