The rapid response to the pandemic in countries around the globe made the use of emergency powers both essential and attractive for Governments. The author guidance code asked authors to answer a range of questions in their country reports. These questions explored the applicable legal framework within which the pandemic was handled. Areas covered including whether a state of emergency was declared, the suspension of the protection of basic rights and any derogation form international law. This was also extended to the statutory provisions made to handle the pandemic and the use of executive rule-making powers. The robust editing process has allowed for a comparative dataset on emergency powers to be constructed containing information on 29 variables for 38 countries. The ‘hyperlink’ variables in the dataset provide a link to the section from which a variable was mined in the original report. The Emergency Powers dataset can be accessed here.