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Christos Papastylianos

Abstract

The doctrine of necessity, which has been enshrined in the Supreme Court’s Ibrahim judgment, emerged as a response to an emergency. Yet, the nature of the emergency has determined the basic characteristics of the doctrine of  necessity, which makes it a unique case within the context of emergency law. The doctrine of necessity occurred through a constitutional crisis, which was created by the main political and institutional actors’ strategically oriented activity regarding the application of the Cypriot Constitution during 1960-1963. The crisis lead nearly to the collapse of the state and resulted in the complete incapacity of key state organs to operate. Thus, confronting necessity  demanded not for an abrogation from the Constitution in order to increase the effectiveness of the institutions, as in a typical case of emergency, but in order to create the conditions which are necessary for them to operate at a
primary stage. This differentiation determines the degree of similarity between the doctrine of necessity and the dominant paradigm of emergency law, which conceives emergency as a reason for derogation from the rule of law and the core principles of constitutionalism, even temporarily.

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Keywords

constitutional crisis, constitutionalism, doctrine of necessity, emergency law, rights, rule of law, Supreme Court

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