PhD project: Does necessity know the constitution? Constitutional powers in times of crises

PhD candidate
Julia Dahlqvist, contact

Project description
It is said that “necessity know no law”, but whether this is applicable on actions taken by the Swedish Parliament, Government and/or ministers is somewhat unclear. The Swedish Instrument of Government (regeringsformen) does not contain any provisions relating to crises in peace time (or the proclamation of a state of emergency), instead the Instrument of Government only knows two situations – peace and war. Extraordinary measures to be taken in times of crises should therefore be taken in compliance with the existing legal framework. However, the occurrence of crises that challenge this notion is not unthinkable, and the question of whether “constitutional necessity” can then be used is unsettled.

Therefore, the central question this project examines is the scope for what actions State agents can take in times of crises, and whether or not constitutional necessity can be used as a legal ground for acting outside of the constitution. The question of responsibility for State agents will be analyzed – both in relation to what is legitimately expected from the citizens and what the legal framework allows. Within the project aspects of constitutional law, international law, public law and criminal law will be analyzed.



• Associate Professor Karin Åhman
• Professor Mark Klamberg