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Constitutional Reform and Emergency Powers in Egypt and Tunisia

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image of Middle East Law and Governance

Legal mechanisms governing the state of emergency can play an important role in authoritarian rule and post-revolutionary transition periods. Egypt has experienced the terror of a regime empowered by emergency law. In Tunisia, emergency law was not so much an issue before but rather after the Jasmine revolution. Given the importance of emergency regulations in both cases, this article provides brief process-oriented accounts of the constitutional reforms triggered by the Arab Spring. It furthermore takes a critical look at how Egypt and Tunisia have redesigned these norms in the latest constitutions of early 2014. On the basis of criteria regarding the rule of law and mechanisms of crisis governance in modern democracies, this article then analyses and evaluates the key elements regarding checks and balances pertaining to emergency regulations in the 2014 constitutions.

Affiliations: 1: University of Groningen,


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