24th April 2020
Fundamental Human Rights are enshrined in our Constitution and detailed in our laws. At a time of crisis, emergency powers can be a necessary tool to ensure that society stays safe and that decisions can be made quickly to respond to emerging issues. However, the two are not mutually exclusive. Emergency powers must be proportionate, and be interpreted in the interest of human rights and the common good. They should also be time-limited to ensure that, once the crisis passes, these exceptional powers that, even necessarily, impact on our fundamental freedoms are revoked.
This legislation introducing emergency powers to respond to COVID-19 confers wide-ranging powers on Government and State operators at a significant cost to the Exchequer. Here we provide a brief overview of what they are and what they are expected to cost.