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The Constitution of FreedomAn Introduction to Legal Constitutionalism$
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András Sajó and Renáta Uitz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198732174

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198732174.001.0001

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Constitutions Under Stress

Constitutions Under Stress

Chapter:
(p.416) 11 Constitutions Under Stress
Source:
The Constitution of Freedom
Author(s):

András Sajó

Renáta Uitz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198732174.003.0012

This chapter examines how constitutions fare in crisis situations, under stress, with special attention to three disturbing scenarios. The classic form of lifting constitutionalism occurs under the guise of emergency. The official purpose of emergency powers is simple: to restore constitutional normalcy after a sudden shock. The idea that constitutional democracy should be able to defend itself from its enemies also sounds appealing. However, this militant democracy remains ambiguous and an invitation to and justification for abuse of powers. In closing, the chapter considers the rise of the preventive state and its implications for constitutionalism, especially in governments engaged in a war on terror.

Keywords:   constitution, constitutionalism, emergency powers, constitutional democracy, preventive state, war on terror

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