Yesterday, French President François Hollande signed into law a bill that extends the state of emergency for three months and expands the government’s already broad police powers. Passed in haste, the law avoided a preliminary constitutional review. Meanwhile, the government has urged other far-reaching legal and policy changes to enhance counterterrorism.
Daniel Severson is a Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School graduate. He served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard International Law Journal and writes for Lawfare. Daniel was a Harvard University Presidential Public Service Fellow at the Defense Department, a Council of American Ambassadors Fellow at the State Department, and a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan. He plays the French horn.
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On Friday night, as attacks now attributed to ISIS unfolded across Paris, French President François Hollande declared a nationwide state of emergency. This marks the first time since the Algerian war of independence in the early 1960s that France has assumed broad police powers over the entire country. It remains unclear to what extent these expanded powers will affect France’s legal regime after the worst terrorist attack in the nation’s history.