Terrorism and the State of Exception

In response to an act of terrorism, governments must respond accordingly and act in approval of its citizens while the criteria for legality need not be required. In response to terrorism, governments must incorporate the safety and lives of their citizens so that purpose of taking or holding of their legal rights can be meet with a proper understanding from the countries leader in that government. For the purpose of having things done without going through political questioning, governments can freely impose their will without being challenged.

While an overbearing concern of terrorism can deter the Canadian government’s ability to question, it is whether or not the time and effort into passing a quick and rough bill into Parliament to attempt to pass the bill is worth it. Threats and questionable acts of terrorism over the presumption that it could possible become more prominent, is a framework that can be effective in times of political and social duress. For instances, a “design of an emergency regime may well be the best available defense against a panic-driven cycle of permanent destruction” (Ackerman 2004; 1030). What Ackerman is suggesting is that the use of a quick, reactionary government over parliamentary decision making is best used to tackle terrorism because emergences are needed to be dealt with swiftly therefore there is a need to disregard Parliament’s argumentative approach for instances of actually terrorism. To avoid the time-heavy and nuisance of having party members in Parliament to agree and redraft on a suggested bill that can make it easy to have individual’s liberties be withheld while being time consuming. Not only does it free up time but it can also relieve Parliamentary scrutiny by not having members of Parliament enacting their potential powers to veto a suggested bill that would do the same as a State of Emergency call. Enforcing dominancy from governments to enact State of Emergency can send the message that the reasons for using the Emergencies Act is reasonable over fighting for of against a bill.

For the members of the public that receiving the news that their government has declared a state of emergency for the purpose of eliminating terrorism can provide for conflicting views. Individuals in society can see this enactment of a state of emergence as something that shows the government being tough on terrorism. This message of taking a stance on terrorism does not only boost the morale between governments and their citizens, it can also give the notion that the government intended to protect their citizens by the apprehension of a suspected groups of other people that may be in connection to terror plots or organizations.

On the other hand, there will always be someone in the public who would think and respond differently to the enactment of a state of emergency. Taking the view that the overall goal of a government when implementing an act of emergency is to withhold individual rights and freedoms as they can be free in detaining or searching people’s houses without using the proper form of getting warrants from a judge is a concern. There can also be a case that the federal government has been looking into two or three groups that may be involved with international crimes overseas, such a terrorism, but have little to no evidence to approve of a warrant could be of interest to pull the state of exception rule into society on order to work around such stifling techniques.

Governments that are able to introduce bills are those sovereignties that demand a democratic approach prior to initiating an increase to security and police serveses that could be viewed as supporting ‘totalitarian’ ideals (Pavlich 2011). Although rushed, it is understandable how governments look to the Parliament or Senate prior to deciding whether or not it is a good idea to put their act into fruition. Governments that are able to hold a debate on the reasons for a state of emergency are to be well admired as they are following how democratic society should come together as one to answer the question of rather than jumping to it right away.

The public, in witnessing of a bill suggesting for a state of emergency, can listen in and make their own decision on what they think should occur. Having debates in Parliament not only opens the floor to those wanting to speak on terrorism, it is also allows for an honest discussion about the rules around state of emergences and how they can be effective. As the public hears more and more about the bill, they would be able better connect with the reasons for the increased police power and be able to reflect on how this can effect society as a whole in all kind of ways, good or bad or neutral.

In today’s demographic, it makes more sense for a government to create a bill to increase police and security services. By doing so, the government does not have the right to remove everyone’s freedom and liberties for a short period of time. Introducing higher powers for police services can also be used a deterrence factor that makes the possibility of terrorist attack even lower. As more responsibilities are handed to police and security services, the public can become more reciprocal and attentive to police out on the field.

The third option here is to not act at all. With Governments not enforcing a bill or considering the calling for a State of Emergency, they are leaving the issue with police to follow the laws already imposed on society from the Parliament of Canada. From this, a government can wait until another act occurs or that the government will promote the idea of working together with law enforcement to end terrorism, while not actually implementing a state of emergency or strength the service of police and security. Although terrorism has approached the level of publicity that sees acts of terror as being something seriously affecting the rest of Canada, it would be improbable for governments to take this third option due to the scrutiny received from Canadian citizens. Much like sovereigns who are petty in nature, these sole entities would become disconnected and oblivious to the real issues at hand (Pavlich 2014). The issue around terrorism should be meet with a high standard as there needs to be an act done in order to resolve public worry and show government re-actions. And this high standard can come from bills or the initiation of a State of Emergency in most cases.


Ackerman, B. (2014). The Emergency Constitution. The Yale Law Journal. 113 (5). 1029-1091.

Pavlich, G. (2011). Law and Society Redefined. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press.


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