CHAPTER XI. STATE OF EMERGENCY
253. Declaration of a state of emergency
In the event of natural disaster, dangerous epidemic disease, war, threat to national security, or threatened foreign aggression, the President may declare a state of emergency in all or part of the country for a period not exceeding thirty days.
254. Content of the declaration
The declaration of a state of emergency shall specify the reasons for the declaration of an emergency, and include measures to deal with the emergency, which may include the temporary suspension of the operation of laws and infringement of certain fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by this Constitution in Chapter 2.
255. Limitations of the declaration
- Measures adopted in an emergency shall not contravene this Article.
- Measures adopted in an emergency shall not restrict the following rights and freedoms contained in the following Articles of this Constitution:
- Article 21 (right to life);
- Article 25 (no slavery or forced labour);
- Article 27 (freedom of expression);
- Article 28 (freedom of the media);
- Article 42 (fair and transparent hearings);
- Article 48 (b) (rights on arrest or detention);
- Article 51 (rights of the accused);
- Article 52 (confessions and illegal evidence);
- Article 53 (assistance of legal counsel);
- Article 54 (no degrading treatment or torture);
- Article 55 (no imprisonment for non-fulfillment of contractual obligation);
- Article 57 (humane treatment of arrested or detained persons);
- Article 59 (retrospective legislation);
- Article 60 (prohibition of double jeopardy);
- Article 62 (retention of other rights);
- Article 64 (non-compliance with unlawful orders).
- Any infringement of rights and freedoms under this Constitution and the law shall be only to the extent strictly required by the emergency.
- Measures adopted in an emergency shall be consistent with the obligations of the Maldives under international law applicable to states of emergency.
The declaration of a state of emergency shall be published in the Government Gazette within three days of its issuance.
257. Submission of declaration to the Peoples Majlis
- The declaration of a state of emergency shall be submitted to the People’s Majlis within forty eight hours. If the People’s Majlis is not in session at the time of the declaration, it shall be re-called within fourteen days, inclusive of holidays, and the declaration of a state of emergency submitted to the People’s Majlis for approval.
- The People’s Majlis may at any time:
- approve the declaration in whole or in part;
- extend the operation of the declaration for periods not exceeding thirty days at a time; or
- revoke the declaration.
- Where the President deems it necessary to extend the length of the state of emergency, he shall submit the extension to the People’s Majlis prior to the expiry of the state of emergency, and obtain the approval of the People’s Majlis for such extension.
258. Determination of disputes relating to the declaration
The Supreme Court shall determine any issues with regard to the validity in whole or part of the declaration or any law or order made pursuant to the emergency.
259. Expiry or revocation of declaration
When the declaration of a state of emergency expires or is revoked by the People’s Majlis, all laws promulgated pursuant to the declaration shall cease to have effect.
260. Public announcement of expiry of state of emergency
The President must publicly announce the expiration of the declaration of a state of emergency.