Break or Bend in Case of Emergency?: Rule of Law and State of Emergency in European Public Health Administration
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 January 2020
In this article, we ask what the impact is of the role of the EU administration in responding to emergencies in terms of (changes to) the rule of law. A response to an emergency in some cases creates exceptions to rule of law guarantees that bind the authorities to procedural rules and fundamental rights. These exceptions can become more permanent and even change the constitutional order of the EU. We articulate the legal framework for health emergencies, and discuss how the EU court has interpreted and developed this framework in two key decisions. We then ask whether this framework offers adequate safeguards for upholding the rule of law in cases of major health emergencies. We conclude that public health emergencies can bend and even break rule of law requirements for the EU administration, and advocate for more legal guidance on proportionality, which may offer better safeguards suited for protecting the rights of affected parties.
- Symposium on European Union Governance of Health Crisis and Disaster Management
- European Journal of Risk Regulation , Volume 10 , Issue 4: Symposium on European Union Governance of Health Crisis and Disaster Management , December 2019 , pp. 610 - 634
- © Cambridge University Press 2020
We want to thank our colleagues and the reviewers for their invaluable comments on this article. We also thank Mark de Wilde and the colleagues participating in the Amsterdam emergency “book club” for the interesting discussions on constitutional emergency theory.
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