Legal requirements

Emergency situations and a derogation from human rights obligations do not mean that a state can restrict human rights as it wishes. There are a number of strict legal limits and safeguards which states must follow for a derogation and for the measures adopted in response to an emergency to be valid.

An emergency does not mean that the government is completely free to adopt any restrictions it wishes. State authorities are still bound by national and international law, meaning that all restrictions of rights must be based on law and cannot be arbitrary. All derogation must be genuinely necessary to respond to an emergency and they must be proportional. Some rights cannot be derogated from at all and always require the same standard of care in guaranteeing them regardless of whether the state faces an emergency.

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education