The Abuse of Emergency Powers and Lockdowns

by Ethan Yang
The American Institute for Economic Research

On February 16th the BBC reported that a Dutch court ruled that the state must lift a recently imposed curfew because it was a violation of freedom of movement. A higher court promptly suspended the decision at the request of the government until an appeal can be heard. It was also reported that when the curfews were imposed in January riots broke out in several Dutch cities. The BBC writes the following about the 9PM-4:30AM curfew,

“The Dutch measure, which came into force on 23 January, was intended to reduce movement, particularly among young people, but triggered days of rioting in a number of towns and cities. The Netherlands had not seen a curfew since Nazi occupation in World War Two.”

This is understandable because curfews are a severe restriction on movement and assembly that has little place in a free society except for the direst of circumstances. Furthermore, a curfew starting at 9 PM could have two apparent implications, one silly, and one insidious.

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