State of Emergency as Exceptional Situation

  • States may apply various terms to the special legal order introduced in crisis situations such as “state of exception”, “state of emergency”, “state of alarm”, “state of siege”, “martial law” and so forth.
  • These exceptional situations often involve the introduction of special powers of arrest and detention, military tribunals etc.
  • State of emergency may be declared under exceptional circumstance or condition.
  • Some fundamental rights may never in any circumstances be derogated.
  • The right to derogate must be interpreted so as not to sap (undermine) the individual rights of their substance.
  • Derogations are not permitted under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Note: compare Article 4 of ICCPR/General Comment 29 with provisions of constitution on emergency.