emergency, state of

emergency, state of:

see state of emergencystate of emergency,
situation in which a government or a government body is empowered to act with enhanced powers in order to respond to a crisis. The enhanced or emergency powers, and in many cases immunities or other protections for officials tasked with exercising such
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Emergency, State of


a special legal state declared in a country for a given period of time to cope with extraordinary circumstances and permitting the use of special measures to maintain order.

A state of emergency usually involves the establishment of agencies with special powers, the introduction of extraordinary security measures, and the extension of the competence of administrative bodies to include the right to suspend existing legislation.

In capitalist countries, a state of emergency in the form of martial law or a state of siege is usually proclaimed to counter a drastic intensification of the class struggle or an upsurge of a revolutionary or national liberation movement. It is also declared in the event of a war or a natural disaster. In Chile, for example, the military-fascist junta of Pinochet, in violation of the constitution, declared a state of internal war and then a state of siege in order to justify a reign of terror and lawlessness and the repression of Chilean patriots without inquest or trial.

The Constitution of the USSR (art. 121, par. 15) provides the Supreme Soviet of the USSR with the right to declare martial law in specific areas or throughout the entire country in the interests of the defense of the USSR.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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