Talk:State of emergency

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Old discussion[edit]

In Spanish, I know of estado de emergencia, estado de excepción, estado de sitio, and estado de guerra (emergency, exception, siege and war).

I am not an expert in (constitutional) law and I don't know the usage in English, so it would be very helpful if someone who is/knows writes stubs on all of these topics. About half of the examples don't really belong in state of emergency, because they involved political conflict and restrictions of civil liberties, so they should be moved to the other articles once they are created. At least that is according to my understanding of the terms in Spanish.

I get the impression that SoEs in Spain are much more, for lack of a better word, formalized then in the US (Where I have most of my knowledge on this subject). eg. as far as I know, there's just "State of Emergency", there aren't different levels and the constitution says nothing about it (Unless you count Article I, Section 9). I'm interested in hearing more of your thoughts. Thanx 03:59, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Also, I wonder whether state of war should redirect to the current article on declaration of war. An article on the constitutional details of state of war in different countries should be separate from the article on intrenational law. -- Miguel

It turns out that the Spanish Constitution actually regulates estado de alarma, estado de excepcion and estado de sitio. Estado de emergencia is widely used in common language and news reports...

Anyway, at least in connection to the original motivation for this article, it would be instructive to summarize what the laws of Ontario and New York say about when the state of emergency can be declared, and what the effects can be. I am gathering information about Spanish law in my Sandbox -- Miguel

Here's my State's info on the subject [1]. Thanx 03:59, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

About France[edit]

Article 16 of the constitution is not about the state of emergency (état d'urgence in French) but about full powers to the President (les pleins pouvoirs). That's why I reverted the part of the article about France. Note that state of emergency shall not be confused in French Law with state of siege (état de siège), ruled by an other article of the constitution. Revas 19:54, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

ok, but maybe the material you cut out could be put elsewhere? dab () 12:47, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, it could be inclued in an article about les exeptions au principe de légalité but I have no idea of how we call it in English (things related to all the special states where due process and legality are not guaranted as usual under French Law).--Revas 21:35, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
What about... state of emergency? Tazmaniacs 12:22, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Note that state of siege and others similar articles redirect here. Tazmaniacs 12:59, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Note also that under the very general definition provided by the article, a state of emergency is any case where fundamental liberties may be suspended, thus including both état d'urgence and état de siège. Tazmaniacs 13:00, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't use specific examples in the opening[edit]

I've deleted the specific examples from the second paragraph for four reasons.

  1. It's not usual to put such specific detail into an introduction. Even if you give examples, it will be in a form like: "Jurisdictions frequently limit the powers that may be invoked (e.g., New York State) or forbid modifying the law or constitution (e.g., Germany) during the state of emergency..." You wouldn't typically provide the actual statute.
  2. The examples provided are very specific - far more than an encylopaedia requires.
  3. A spelling error (Atricle) makes the examples somewhat suspect (though I am not saying they're wrong - I'm just saying they're superfluous, and not worth checking).
  4. They're too localised for the intro (i.e., need for world view).

El T 06:39, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

From Talk:State of Emergency[edit]

The following I'm copying from "Talk:State of Emergency" that pertain to this article:

Actually no....

Depending on the needs of that emergency, people may be arrested without cause, private places may be searched without warrant, or private property may be seized without immediate compensation or a chance to prior appeal.
The courts in the United States are often very lenient in allowing almost any action to be taken in the case of such a declared emergency.

No. American law generally doesn't allow for these things even with a declaration of emergency.

Why capital letters, rather than lower-case state of emergency? Michael Hardy 23:28 26 May 2003 (UTC)

Okay, I want to know your source for this, because every court case I ever read makes exceptions for all kinds of things because of it is necessitated by an emergency. So, I am just taking out any reference until you give some sort of cite. I don't have the time to actually cite things. Are you a lawyer? PhatJew

I looked up habeas corpus and it discusses the suspension of rights during an emergency. So, I am putting the stuff about suspension of constitutional rights back in. PhatJew

End of my copying. Cburnett 17:19, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Suspension of Habeas Corpus[edit]

I added the Habeas Corpus information direct from the Analysis and Interpretation of the Constitution; Annotations of Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States; Senate Document No. 108-17; 2002 Edition: Cases Decided to June 28, 2002. SSG Cornelius Seon (Retired) 08:49, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Just because something's public domain doesn't make it necessarily appropriate here. In particular

  • It should be neutrally worded
  • It should be in the most relevant article (e.g. habeas corpus)
  • It should summarize sources, not repeat them at length. This is an encyclopedia, not a repository of source material.
  • It would be nice to drop the bold formatting, because heavy use of emphasis usually suggests that someone is posting some kind propaganda.

Gazpacho 02:49, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

State of exception vs. state of emergency[edit]

Is a state of exception a synonym for state of emergency? Since "State of exception" redirects to this article then either it should be explained that it is a synonym for "state of emergency" or explain the difference between the two concepts. --Cab88 06:55, 9 April 2006 (UTC) The problem with the article is that the philosophical (Agamben) state of exception is quite different from the one described in the article.

France and UK need updating[edit]

France needs to be updated now that the state of emergency has ended. It currently says due to end in february 2005, which has passed.

UK is a bit of a stub. Can someone update it? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:59, 2 February 2007 (UTC).

US In State of Emergency?[edit]

I've been looking through some Presidential Executive Orders and other documents, such as [2], and it appears that President Bill Clinton officially declared a state of emergency in 1995 which continues through at least 2008 January. Is there a good reason why the article shouldn't say something like, "The United States has been in an official state of emergency since 1995?" -Kris Schnee 10:27, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

More detailed information should be researched, but this is certainly important. Beware, however, that the text you cite seems to specifically target individuals — what are the actual effects of this emergency? It also suspiciously looks like the current president wants to legitimate his actions by claiming they are a normal continuation of his predecessor ; is it really true? This is valuable information, but really needs further details. Tazmaniacs 12:19, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I looked up some details about this issue. From what I can tell, the National Emergencies Act and International Emergency Economic Powers Act grant the President the authority to exercise specific "emergency powers" chosen in advance from a larger set. There appears to be a set of several ongoing "national emergencies"[3], each referring to specific topics and powers. It would probably be "original research" to get into great detail, although the internal WP articles do cite specific topics of these emergencies. So it'd say, there's an official ongoing SoE, but it's not the kind that involves classical dictatorship. This right-wing article[4] I came across in the process has more information. What if the article said:
"In the United States, Executive Order 12947 issued by President Bill Clinton formally declared a "state of emergency" because of Middle Eastern terrorism. This state of emergency was maintained under President George H. W. Bush and continues to the present under President George W. Bush, along with several other official emergencies. The National Emergencies Act and International Emergency Economic Powers Act grant the President the authority to exercise specific emergency powers chosen in advance from a larger set, without declaring general martial law."
(Expansion of 1995 emergency in 1998: [5]. Continuation of 1995 state of emergency from 2007-2008: [6]. SoE declared re: 9/11 attacks: [7])
-Kris Schnee 14:40, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
In any cases, "state of emergency" is not comparable to dictatorship, although there may be several contentious points on the issue. But there is no need to approach this debate (although one could do it in a separate subsection). I don't think entering into details is OR, to the contrary it impedes any simplification & is necessary. First of all, these laws you mentionned should be specify as the legal framework of state of emergencies (in much the same way as in the French subsection). Second, concerning the point you originally mentionned (EO 12947 by Clinton), it should be precised what powers & provisions were brought by this state of emergency, and what has been changed or/and maintained by Bush. There is the famous EO issued by Bush after 11-S which gave him "extraordinary powers": in what has this EO modified Clinton's one (obviously there are some differences, which the original public statement by Bush which you cited tried to overlook)? All of this would be very interesting to mention. PS: Category:Executive Orders of George W. Bush may provide some info. Tazmaniacs 15:15, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
There is also a problem with the definition of "state of emergency". Here, it designs any suspension of fundamental liberties, and would thus include, for ex., the Military Commissions Act of 2006. However, strictly speaking, this law should probably not be included or only in a "debate" section, as it is not a strict "state of emergency". Tazmaniacs 15:19, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Removed the statement that courts have been lenient as far as actions to be taken during a state of emergency. The courts don't seem that lenient to me, and stating specific court decisions seems more NPOV than stating a conclusion.

The courts in the United States are often very lenient in allowing almost any action to be taken in the case of such a declared emergency, if it is reasonably related. For example, habeas corpus is the right to challenge an arrest in court.

Roadrunner 06:56, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

It was my understanding that the "original" state of emergency in the US was at the time of the Korean War, and substituted for a declaration of war. That along with several others, missiles in Cuba maybe?, were deliberately never revoked by Congress in order to give the president sufficient powers to deal with whatever came up in a hurry so he wouldn't have to stop to ask Congress in the middle of a missile attack, for example. At that time, he would be effectively declaring war on whoever the missiles were aimed at. All still in effect, I'm pretty sure. Otherwise the president couldn't push that button. Student7 (talk) 12:12, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

An anonymous user removed the mention of the US' emergency status from the "Ongoing" section, without explanation. I have restored the text and added the phrase "effectively permanent." Because our heads of state have declared repeatedly in official writing that we are in a state of national emergency, and renew the same status each year continuously since at least 1979 (see eg. [8]; renewal expected by 11.14), this wording is accurate. The fact that our version of a "state of emergency" only involves invoking limited powers makes it important to note that we're not under martial law, but this distinction is already in the US section of the article. Please present reasons for deleting the text if you think removal appropriate. -Kris Schnee (talk) 15:51, 10 November 2008 (UTC)


It seems to me that the individual states should have their own articles. Florida has a Florida Division of Emergency Management but this is through the eyes of enforcement rather than a discussion of what is given up, taken over, superceded, and why (if germane). This should probably "blend in" to Emergency Management/Homeland Security or complement it, but it is different and different for each state. Normally the state article would refer to this one with core information. It might be simpler if the US section were spun off (forked) if this takes place. Otherwise it gets confusing since other countries employ the word "state." Student7 (talk) 12:22, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Emergency rule[edit]

After creating the article, Emergency rule, I realised that it is essentially, if not entirely the same as State of emergency. For this reason, I am now redirecting Emergency rule here. --Anthony5429 20:13, 5 November 2007 (UTC)


This line does not include the name of the person you are referring to " Guinea declared a state of emergency on February 12, 2007 when violent protest erupted after he appointed a Prime Minister". can somebody please have a look at it? --gb2236 12:37, 29th February 2008 (GMT)

Poor Information[edit]

In the section about Australia, only 1 state out of 7 is discussed. There is almost no information about the federal government's rights either. This should be changed.Nathan.tang (talk) 11:22, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Uprising - Germany - State of Tension[edit]

Excuse me, but the “state of tension”in Germany is not applied in case of uprisings as stated in the article. As a mater of fact there aren't any arrangements in germane constitution that refer explicit to the case of uprisings and I doubt that any measurements of the army to put down uprisings would be legal – even under martial law. Nevertheless germane constitution allows parliament to declare “state of tension” if there are hints that the FRG might become the matter of an aggression. In this case the government is allowed to apply laws (only with acceptance of parliament) which otherwise aren't operative. These laws enable the Army to prepare to defend the country. Parliament only can declare “state of defence” if it has declared “state of tension” before. So one might consider “state of tension” to be the pre-stage to “stage of war”. So I deleted the comment that referred to uprisings. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:53, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Weimar Germany/Third Reich[edit]

The Reichstag Fire Decree did not suspend the entire Weimar Constitution, but only some of its articles (freedom of speach, freedom of press, etc.). --Harald Meier (talk) 20:29, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

=========Tonga and Vanuatu

They have removed already their states of emergency a couple of years ago. They are not ongoing. Please update .MaXiMiLiAnO 19:17, 24 March 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maxcrc (talkcontribs)


Sections of this article for example Canada have a tone that are hostile towards the nations emergency acts. (talk) 19:04, 19 April 2011 (UTC)


"In State of Exception (2005), Giorgio Agamben criticized this idea, arguing that the mechanism of the state of emergency deprives certain people of their civil and political rights, producing his interpretation of homo sacer."

This is a total misreading of Agamben's book. Agamben doesn't "criticize" Schmitt's idea -- the book is a DEFENSE of Schmitt's idea as a theory of Western politics and a call for developing a radically new politics. Furthermore, Agamben doesn't "argue" that the state of exception "deprives certain people of their civil and political rights;" a state of exception is DEFINED as the suspension of civil and political rights -- Agamben believes that, in the contemporary West, this doesn't just apply to "certain people" but to all people at all times.

The following would be an improvement:

"In State of Exception (2005), Giorgio Agamben developed this idea further, arguing that the mechanism of the state of exception today deprives all people of their civil and political rights, producing his interpretation of homo sacer." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:20, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Syria missing?[edit]

Syria is not mentioned in this article... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

2nd emergency in Ireland[edit]

The second declaration of a national emergency in Ireland occurred in 1976, not 1972, and was as a result of the assassination of the British ambassador. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:19, 24 May 2013 (UTC)