International IDEA’s Constitution-Building Primers are designed to assist in-country constitution-building or constitutional-reform processes by helping citizens, political parties, civil society organizations, public officials and members of constituent assemblies make wise constitutional choices.

They also provide guidance for staff of intergovernmental organizations and other external actors working to provide well-informed, context- relevant support to local decision makers. Each Primer is written as an introduction for non-specialist readers, and as a convenient aide-memoire for those with prior knowledge of, or experience with, constitution-building.

Arranged thematically around the practical choices faced by constitution-builders, the Primers aim to explain complex constitutional issues in a quick and easy way.


Publication date
30 May 2018
Elliot W. Bulmer
Number of pages
978-91-7671-167-5 (PDF)
978-91-7671-168-2 (Print)



1. Introduction

2. What is the issue?

3. Declaring, terminating and renewing states of emergency

4. Limitation of rights in emergencies

5. Further effects of a state of emergency

6. Checks and balances

7. Contextual considerations

8. Examples

9. Decision-making questions

10. References


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Emergency Powers

International IDEA Constitution-Building Primer 18
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