Jakub Dienstbier
Author’s affiliation: Faculty of Law, Charles University in Prague

Ethical Aspects of the Emergency Government Theory

Jurisprudence 6/2020 Section: Articles Page: 1-9

Keywords: states of emergency, emergency government, emergency powers, legal ethics, constitutional theory, extra-legal measures

Abstract: The article deals with the analysis of ethical argumentation within the emergency government theory. From ethical positions, the article analyzes the admissibility of emergency government, the legality of emergency government, the institutional aspects of emergency government in terms of the virtue ethics and the ethical nature of time in relation to emergency government. This analysis is set in the context of the debate on emergency government after 9/11, in particular the discussion of Oren Gross‘s model of Extra-Legal Measures. The article concludes that from an ethical point of view 1) the existence of emergency government and its usage in case of emergency is necessary, 2) we cannot decide whether the legal or extralegal approach is better, although not all extralegal approaches are indisputable, 3) there is an obligation to construct ex ante models of emergency government as a priority, whereas the need for ethical reflection on acts of emergency government cannot be avoided.