The emergency paradox: constitutional interpretation in times of crisis

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The Covid-19 pandemic has presented an extreme challenge to legal and political structures around the globe. Institutions are struggling to cope with this new reality, none more strenuously than our legal systems which have rapidly introduced and frequently amended criminal and other sanctions in the hopes of curbing the spread of the virus. In such circumstances, the old adage that desperate times call for desperate measures rings true, prompting calls for a loosening or suspension of previously held legal norms. This paper explores the role that the concept of an emergency plays in our interpretation of fundamental constitutional principles such as the rule of law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalEdinburgh Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2021


  • Rule of Law
  • constitutionalism
  • emergency powers
  • Covid-19
  • coronavirus pandemic


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