Presentation in Haifa

On December 14, 2017, Matthias Lemke will give a talk on „The état d’urgence In France. Governance Before, During And After A National Emergency, 2015–2017” at the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions at the University of Haifa. The presentation is part of the symposium on „Institutional Structures for Governance Before-During-After a National Emergency“, organized by Ido Rosenzweig. A full draft paper will be available by December 1st, 2017. For more information on the conference, please visit the website of the Minerva Center.

Abstract 1/15: Anna-Bettina Kaiser (HU Berlin) – Suspension of the Legal Order in the State of Exception

Conference 2017.
Conference 2017.

The suspension of the legal order is often said to be the (natural) consequence of the declaration of the state of emergency. This paper examines the role of suspension from a theoretical and legal point of view.

The idea of the suspension of (certain) rules in times of crises is not at all new. On the contrary, the ancient Latin phrase necessitas non habet legem, coined by Seneca the Elder, already expresses a similar idea. In 20th century German legal thought, the idea of suspension was wildly received and became a seminal topos in the discourse on the state of exception. It was in particular Carl Schmitt in his Political Theology from 1922 who popularized the idea: “To decide about the state of exception means to decide on the suspension of the whole constitution” (translation by A.-B. K.).

From that point onward, the mechanism of suspension has always been associated with the state of exception. Numerous authors such as Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, Giorgio Agamben, Otto Depenheuer and Matthias Lemke still conceive the figure of suspension as an integral part of the legal institute of the state of exception. Thus, suspension became the cipher for the exceptional state.

This paper calls the depicted narrative into question. It answers the following questions: Where and why did the idea of suspension come up after 1789? And why was it so important for Schmitt’s thinking?What was the influence of Søren Kierkegaard on the concept? Last but not least: Do we find legal evidence for the idea of suspension in the legal orders of Germany and France when it comes to the state of exception?

#StatEx2017 – Abstracts

Conference 2017.
Conference 2017.

From this day until the beginning of the #StatEx2017-Conference on Monday, November 13, 2017, the already available abstracts of the conference contributions will be published here on a weekly basis.

If you want to get a global picture of the contributions, please visit the paperroom of the conference. Once a first draft of a paper is available, you’ll find a short notice here and on social media. All draft versions shall be ready for download by November 1, 2017.

Neuer Förderpartner / Conference Funding

Conference 2017.
Conference 2017.

Die Fritz-Thyssen-Stiftung für Wissenschaftsförderung, Köln, hat heute ihre Entscheidung mitgeteilt, dass sie Förderpartner der Konferenz „Ausnahmezustand – Eine Bestandsaufnahme“ sein wird, die am 13. und 14. November 2017 in Paris stattfindet. Sie leistet damit einen ungemein wichtigen und dankenswerten Beitrag zum Zustandekommen und Gelingen der Konferenz.

Today, the Fritz-Thyssen-Stiftung für Wissenschaftsförderung, Cologne, announced its decision to become a partner in funding the 2017 conference on „State of emergency – An Overview“, which will take place on November 13-14, 2017 in Paris. The organizing committee is very thankful for this important engagement, allowing an international exchange during the conference.

Conference 2017: Paperroom and Hashtag

Conference 2017.
Conference 2017.

The paperroom for the 2017 conference on state of exception is now open. It contains the abstracts of the conference contributions as they are listed in the program. Full papers will be added in November 2017.

The conference hashtag on twitter and social media will be #StatEx2017. Please refer to that hashtag for any issues related to the conference.

For any other questions, please contact

CfP: Institutional Structures for Governance Before-During-After a National Emergency

The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions (Haifa/Hamburg) has issued a call for submissions for a two-days Symposium on „Institutional Structures for Governance Before-During-After a National Emergency“. The Symposium will take place on December 14-15, 2017 at the University of Haifa, Israel.

Submissions are invited from scholars of all ranks, including doctoral students and practitioners from all relevant disciplines (inter alia Law, Political Science, National Security, and Geography). The Call for papers includes two tracks: (1) Article track for scholars; and (2) Position-paper track for practitioners. Submissions should be sent to: Application deadline is July 31, 2017.

Please find more detailed information on the Minerva Center’s website. For questions concerning the CfP, please feel free to contact Ido Rosenzweig by email at or telephone at +972-(0)-525516596.