chapter  5
Legal and ethical aspects of disaster management
ByFIONA McDONALD, MICHAEL EBURN AND ERIN SMITH
Pages 12

Law and ethics have an important role to play in emergency management. In addition to coordinating functions, legal frameworks at the international, national and subnational level provide a structure establishing who can lawfully act, what can and cannot be lawfully done, and the manner in which actions should be taken. Law also plays an important role in specifying that in the midst of an emergency situation the vulnerable should be protected, and human rights respected. With a foundation of respect for the dignity of individuals and communities, ethics is equally important as it informs decision-making around what should be done and the manner in which it should be done.