Human Rights Review

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 443–471 | Cite as

An Umbrella With Holes: Respect for Non-Derogable Human Rights During Declared States of Emergency, 1996–2004

  • David L. RichardsEmail author
  • K. Chad Clay


This paper examines the effects of non-derogability status for seven human rights during declared states of emergency from 1996 to 2004 in 195 countries. For this purpose, we create several original measures of countries’ state of emergency status. Our analysis finds the intended protections from the special legal status of non-derogable rights to be anemic, at best, during declared emergencies. This finding begs a reconsideration of both the utility of the “non-derogable” categorization in both international and municipal law, and the conditions under which declared states of emergency might be justified.


Human rights International law Non-derogable rights Physical integrity rights Empowerment rights State of emergency 



The authors thank Richard Wilson and David Cingranelli for their counsel. This research has benefitted from support by the National Science Foundation (NSF) via Grant Nos. SES- 0318273, SES- 0647969, and SES- 0647916. The NSF is not responsible for any opinions, findings, or conclusions related to this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Human Rights InstituteThe University of ConnecticutMansfieldUSA
  2. 2.Department of International AffairsUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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