Keep Calm and Carry On: Informing the Public Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004

Rebecca Moosavian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 provides a framework that governs the planning and preparations for a wide range of potential emergencies. It requires the engagement and co-operation of numerous ‘public’ bodies including central government, local authorities and the emergency services, as well as a range of ‘private’ organisations such as utilities companies. It is apparent that information plays a fundamental role in the Part 1 planning provisions and associated guidance. This article will focus on one specific information-related provision, namely the duty to maintain plans to warn and inform the public in the event of an emergency. It undertakes detailed analysis of the CCA provisions, secondary legislation and extensive government guidance regarding informing the public and related media-handling. It will analyse these measures in light of two competing organisational models identified by Walker and Broderick as being present across various CCA arrangements. The tensions between traditional authoritarian ‘command’ structures on the one hand, and more flexible, de-centralised arrangements on the other, are particularly pronounced in the context of informing the public. They reflect the challenges of maintaining political authority whilst handling and disseminating information that is fluid and in nature and evades control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-194
JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights
Volume18
Issue number2
Early online date20 Mar 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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