chapter  6
20 Pages

The problem of exceptions: a defence of procedural democracy

Exceptions to the law introduce some degree of uncertainty into constitutional life. The effect of exceptions is the belief that political life rests upon an insecure foundation if the ultimate courts of appeal are rules allowing for exceptions. In other words, if an exception is allowed, which means that some laws are not followed by some people at some times and places, this weakens rules and undermines the coherence of proceduralism which requires that procedures and rules have to be followed by leaders and masses at all times and in all places.1 The problems raised by exceptions are also serious in a transition to democracy; failure to deal with emergencies will lead to a failure of democracy and a restoration of a totalitarian regime.