June 16, 2021 00:00 PM Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna
Czech Supreme Administrative Court rules on June 11th, 2021, that a measure of general nature (čj. MZDR 15757/2020-49/MIN/KAN) was contrary to the law. Czech lawyers scored yet another win at the Supreme Administrative Court in the Czech Republic in a dispute against Czech Ministry of Health, which is responsible for issuing various COVID-19 mandates, which according to many lawyers are not only unconstitutional, but such governmental edicts severely and negatively impact actual human health. Judgement available here: https://bit.ly/35wtPk1
The measure of general nature, which was ruled to be against the law, was forcing people to wear respirators (or similar or higher level of protective equipment), while being inside a building (except the area of your permanent residence, e.g. your house) or while being literally anywhere else outside your house, as long as these premises were located inside a town or inside the borders of a city or anywhere outside the town or city area, where 2 people are present, while being less than 2 meters apart (unless those 2 people are members of the same household). This resulted in tragically comical situation, where a person walking down the street had to wear a respirator, while he was literally the only person standing on the entire street. Safety first, right?
Czech lawyers were pointing out lacking scientific and legal argumentation of aforementioned mandate, stating, that other measures of general nature were previously annulled by the Supreme Administrative Court exactly for said reasons. Negative impact on human health concerning prolonged wearing of these muzzles was also described. Studies were attached, which are proving, that a prolonged wearing of such respirators leads to changes in human physiology, namely concerning breathing and its worsening as well as tiredness, headaches or increase of carbon dioxide inside the respirator. Legal argumentation was, beside other things, built on the conflict with the Article 4.1 of Charter of Fundamental rights and freedoms. Measure of general nature issues by the Czech Ministry of Health also failed in the proportionality test.
How did the Supreme Administrative Court respond to that? The court is indeed pointing out, that any measure of general nature must be followed by a strict requirement of including reasons, why it’s being implemented. Such demand arises not only from the constant case law, but is also explicitly stated by the Pandemic Act (namely §4 of said Act). The court is also reproaching the lack of any rational evaluation – concerning which epidemiological risks are “adequate”, while trying to avoid situations, where the government is excessively limiting ways of life of the entire society. The precautionary principle cannot be an excuse for accepting only one criteria (uncontrollable spread of COVID-19), while other potential risks will be overlooked (risks, which are related to the enforced mandates). Such risks on both sides must be measured against each other and such approach must be especially followed, when there are numerous contradicting information regarding COVID-19. The court was also baffled, why the Ministry of Health issued a mandate forcing people to wear respirators anywhere and everywhere within the entire territory of a city or town. The court is thus raising a hilarious question, as to why it’s required to wear a respirator, while standing alone in the middle of a street. That’s a mystery indeed. The court is then (also quite hilariously) pointing out and asking, why some URL links provided by the Ministry of Health as evidence, are still not working or missing, despite the court inquired about said evidence in previous proceedings already. The Czech Ministry of Health also failed to properly explain various exemptions in relation to vaccinated people or those, who have recovered from COVID-19 or to take into account people, who might be severely injured by wearing a respirator, due to having a prior breathing medical condition.