Comparative study of emergency powers in commonwealth Africa with special reference to Zambia

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Chanda, Alfred Winstone
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The dissertation focusses on a comparative study of emergency powers under some Commonwealth African Constitutions with specific reference to Zambia. The importance of this subject is underlined by the fact that all Commonwealth African Countries possess emergency legislation. Moreover, such legislation is very wide and has been extensively used,often improperly. Emergency powers, once invoked, seriously infringe fundamental individual rights and,therefore, undermine the Rule of Law.The study examines the scope of these powers under the different constitutions in Commonwealth Africa, what safeguards have been provided for affected individuals and the role of the Judiciary in upholding the rights of the individual. Furthermore, the manner in which emergency powers have been used is considered.The thesis is divided into two parts. The first part constitutes an account of the historical background to the theory of emergency powers, and has two chapters. Chapter one discusses the nature and scope of emergency powers found in other common law countries outside Africa. Chapter two examines the development of emergency powers during colonial rule in Zambia (then known as Northern Rhodesia).Part II deals with emergency powers under the Independent Constitutions of Commonwealth Africa. It is composed of five chapters. Chapter three examines emergency powers under some Commonwealth African Constitutions. Amongst issues considered are the nature of the power to declare an emergency, the role of the legislature and the judiciary to check this power and whether the declaration of an emergency is a justiciable issue. In chapter four the legal basis of emergency powers in Zambia is considered. In this regard the salient features of the Preservation of Public Security Act and the Emergency Powers Act are examined, The provisions relating to detentions and restrictions are dealt with in some detail. The last part of the chapter looks briefly at provisions of emergency statutes of other African Commonwealth Countries. Chapter five examines the safeguards available to detainees and how the judiciary has responded to alleged violations of these safeguards. An appraisal of the use of emergency laws in Zambia is undertaken in chapter six. Reference is also made to the way emergency powers have been used in other countries in an attempt to see whether there are any parallels in the use of emergency powers in those countries.Chapter seven is a conclusion.
War and emergency powers--Zambia , Executive powers(commonweath countries)--Zambia