International Law Association Committee on Human Rights in Times of Emergency - Interim Report

Niels Petersen (Editor), Ioana Cismas (Editor)

Research output: Other contribution


The Committee on Human Rights in Times of Emergency established by the International Law Association (ILA) in July 2017, seeks to analyse how international human rights bodies and regional courts deal, and how they should deal, with de facto and de jure states of emergency. The interim report examines the developments in standard setting and practice concerning states of emergency that have occurred over the past thirty years.

Structurally, the report, first summarizes the main results of the work of the previous ILA Committee on the Enforcement of Human Rights Law EHRL (B). Second, it examinessome terminological and conceptual preliminaries, notably the distinction between de jure and de facto and notified and non-notified states of emergencies, respectively, as well as the relationship between non-derogable rights and jus cogens (C). As human rights monitoring and adjudication has expanded dramatically since 1990, the report explores the work of existing and new UN and regional bodies on the substantive and procedural international legal standards relating to invocation, application, effect and duration of states of emergencies, and on which rights are non-derogable. At the universal level, the report examines the practice of the UN human rights treaty bodies and the UN Human Rights Council (HRCouncil) and its mechanisms. In particular, it analyses the work of the UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee), the practice of the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and UN Special Procedures (D). At the regional level, the report explores the practice of the Inter-American system of human rights, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) system, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) system, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) system, the Arab Charter of Human Rights (ArChHR) system and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) system (E). The final part of this report presents some preliminary observations (F).

The interim report of the ILA Committee on Human Rights in Times of Emergency was was finalized by Niels Petersen and Ioana Cismas. Individual committee members provided contributions for different sections: Karsten Nowrot and Nadia Kornioti (B), Ioana Cismas (C1 and D2), Stefan Kadelbach (C2), Niels Petersen (D1), Michal Balcerzak, Fionnuala Ni Aolain and Maria Varaki (D3), William Aceves, Neza Kogovsek Salamon and Nadia Kornoti (D4), Sarah Cassella (E1), Christina Binder and Christina Cerna (E2), Aaron Fellmeth (E3).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • state of emergency
  • derogations
  • Human Rights
  • COVID-19

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