+Bea, Keith, Coordinator, Specialist, American National Government, Government and Finance Division, Congressional Research Service (CRS), et al., Federal Emergency Management Policy Changes After Hurricane Katrina: A Summary of Statutory Provisions (CRS Report for Congress, Order Code RL33729) (November 15, 2006) (PDF — 237K)
Disasters & the Law
UC Berkeley School of Law
4 entriesexpand all
+Binder, Denis, The Role of Statutes, Regulations and Professional Standards in Emergency Responses (provided by: SSRN) (May 23, 2006)
"The tragedies of 9/11 and Katrina bring to the fore the need for emergency action planning. Government has responded by enacting statutes and ordinances, and issuing regulations. Industry has responded through the promulgation of professional standards, especially NFPA 1600, which was highly praised by the 9/11 Commission. The National Fire Protective Association is one of the most prominent private standards setting organizations nationally and throughout the world. Its standards and codes are often incorporated into statutes, ordinances, and regulations.
"This article outlines the role these sources of legal authority should play in establishing legal standards for emergency responses. It looks to both traditional legal precedence and the case law which has evolved around NFPA standards.
"Unlike many earlier articles, this essay emphasizes that statutes, ordinances, regulations, and professional standards only set the floor for legal liability. The common law duty of reasonable care under the circumstances may impose a higher duty of care based upon the reasonable foreseeability of the risk." —Abstract.
+Cohen, Dara K., Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, & Barry R. Weingast, Crisis Bureaucracy: Homeland Security and the Political Design of Legal Mandates (provided by: SSRN) (Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 926516) (Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 326) (Stanford Law Review, Vol. 59, No. 3, 2006)
"Policymakers fight over bureaucratic structure because it helps shape the legal interpretations and regulatory decisions of agencies through which modern governments operate. In this article, we update positive political theories of bureaucratic structure to encompass two new issues with important implications for lawyers and political scientists: the implications of legislative responses to a crisis, and the uncertainty surrounding major bureaucratic reorganizations. The resulting perspective affords a better understanding of how agencies interpret their legal mandates and deploy their administrative discretion.
"We apply the theory to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Two principal questions surrounding this creation are (1) why the president changed from opposing the development of a new department to supporting it and (2) why his plan for such a department was far beyond the scope of any other existing proposal. We argue that the president changed his mind in part because he did not want to be on the losing side of a major legislative battle. But more importantly, the president supported the massive new department in part to further domestic policy priorities unrelated to homeland security. By moving a large set of agencies within the department and instilling them with new homeland security responsibilities without additional budgets, the president forced these agencies to move resources out of their legacy mandates. Perversely, these goals appear to have been accomplished at the expense of homeland security.
"Finally, we briefly discuss more general implications of our perspective: first, previous reorganizations (such as FDR's creation of a Federal Security Agency and Carter's creation of an Energy Department) also seem to reflect presidential efforts to enhance their control of administrative functions - including some not directly related to the stated purpose of the reorganization; and, second, our analysis raises questions about some of the most often-asserted justifications for judicial deference to agency legal interpretations." —Abstract.
+Mason, Byron, National Research Council, Law, Science & Disaster: Summary of the October 18, 2005 Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable (National Academies Press) (2006)