- Special collection of cases related to CODVID-19
on Constitutional Case-Law

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, governments across the world have taken exceptional measures to slow the spread or “flatten the curve” of this virus. These exceptional measures are needed but must have clear limits. The Venice Commission has analysed limits to such measures on numerous occasions and has consistently emphasised that State security and public safety can only be effectively guaranteed in a democracy that fully respects the rule of law.

In April 2020, the Venice Commission’s Scientific Council prepared a compilation of the Commission’s general reports and country-specific opinions on constitutional provisions and legislation on emergency situations. In addition, the Secretariat of the Venice Commission has gathered information on this issue from contributions made by its members and completed it with information gathered from other sources, including academic articles, legal blogs, official information from websites and so on.

In order to bring all this information together, the Venice Commission’s Secretariat has created an Observatory on Emergency Regimes, which can be found here:

https://www.venice.coe.int/WebForms/pages/?p=02_EmergencyPowersObservatory

The Observatory on Emergency Regimes also includes a list of the relevant case-law on this issue taken from the Venice Commission’s CODICES database. You will find the list of these cases below.

This list will be updated on a regular basis. To this end, liaison officers are invited to consult this list and inform the Secretariat if they wish to add other cases to it or if they find errors or inaccuracies.

e-Bulletin covid-19

A. List of précis by country

B. Systematic Thesaurus

C. Alphabetical Index

A. List of précis by country
Argentina Austria Bosnia and Herzegovina Brazil
Chile Germany Hungary Kosovo
Norway Organisation of American States Ukraine

ARGENTINA

ARG-2020-1-001 a) Argentina / b) Supreme Court / c) / d) 24.04.2020 / e) CSJ 353/2020/CS1 / f) Fernández de Kirchner, Cristina en carácter de Presidenta del Honorable Senado de la Nación s/ acción declarativa de certeza /
The Judiciary can only review the legislative procedure, its compliance with the requirements for the creation of laws and its accordance with the legal order once the law has been enacted, but not before. Besides, it has not been granted the authority to analyse the constitutionality of regulations, to deliver abstract interpretations, or to issue merely theoretical or consultative rulings. The... Read more
1.2.1.1 Constitutional Justice - Types of claim - Claim by a public body - Head of State.
1.3.5.9 Constitutional Justice - Jurisdiction - The subject of review - Parliamentary rules.
1.5.3 Constitutional Justice - Decisions - Form.
4.5.2 Institutions - Legislative bodies - Powers.
4.5.2.1 Institutions - Legislative bodies - Powers - Competences with respect to international agreements.
4.5.2.2 Institutions - Legislative bodies - Powers - Powers of enquiry.
4.5.2.3 Institutions - Legislative bodies - Powers - Delegation to another legislative body.
4.5.6 Institutions - Legislative bodies - Law-making procedure.
COVID-19 / Parliament, virtual sessions.

AUSTRIA

AUT-2020-2-002 a) Austria / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 14.07.2020 / e) V 363/2020 / f) /
COVID-19 regulation of 15 March 2020, Federal Law Gazette II no. 98/2020, according to which the entry into public places was generally forbidden for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19, was found to be unlawful because it lacked a clear legal authorisation expressly providing for such a far-reaching interference with the right to free movement.
3.12 General Principles - Clarity and precision of legal provisions.
3.13 General Principles - Legality.
4.6.3.2 Institutions - Executive bodies - Application of laws - Delegated rule-making powers.
5.1.5 Fundamental Rights - General questions - Emergency situations.
5.3.6 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Freedom of movement.
COVID-19 / Epidemic / Freedom of movement, temporary restriction / Legality.

AUT-2020-2-003 a) Austria / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 14.07.2020 / e) G 202/2020 / f) /
During the COVID-19 crisis, several businesses and shops had to temporarily close due to an entry ban for customer areas. The COVID-19 Measures Act does not provide for compensation for such situations. However, this does not violate the fundamental right to property or the principle of equality since the entry ban was embedded in a comprehensive package of measures to cushion the economic impact... Read more
5.1.5 Fundamental Rights - General questions - Emergency situations.
5.2 Fundamental Rights - Equality.
5.3.39.3 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to property - Other limitations.
COVID-19 / Epidemic / Right to property, compensation for loss of earnings.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

BIH-2020-1-001 a) Bosnia and Herzegovina / b) Constitutional Court / c) Chamber / d) 22.02.2020 / e) AP 1217/20 / f) /
The Constitutional Court must consider the balance between the needs and protection of society as a whole and the rights of individuals. To be proportional, measures that significantly interfere with the human rights guaranteed under the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights must have a basis, be strictly limited in time, include an obligation to regularly review the measures... Read more
2.1.1.4.4 Sources - Categories - Written rules - International instruments - European Convention on Human Rights of 1950.
3.9 General Principles - Rule of law.
3.12 General Principles - Clarity and precision of legal provisions.
3.16 General Principles - Proportionality.
3.17 General Principles - Weighing of interests.
3.22 General Principles - Prohibition of arbitrariness.
4.18 Institutions - State of emergency and emergency powers.
5.1.4.2 Fundamental Rights - General questions - Limits and restrictions - General/special clause of limitation.
5.1.4.3 Fundamental Rights - General questions - Limits and restrictions - Subsequent review of limitation.
5.1.5 Fundamental Rights - General questions - Emergency situations.
5.3.6 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Freedom of movement.
5.3.44 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Rights of the child.
Circumstance, exceptional / COVID-19 / Person, elderly / Children, special needs, mental and physical condition / Protection of the existent health system.

BRAZIL

BRA-2020-1-005 a) Brazil / b) Federal Supreme Court / c) Full Court / d) 17.04.2020 / e) Referral of the provisional remedy in the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality 6363 (ADI 6363 Ref-MC) / f) Labour measures to preserve jobs and income in the face of public calamity /
A rule by the executive branch authorising the reduction of working hours and salary or the temporary suspension of employment contracts by individual agreement due to the new coronavirus pandemic, regardless of union consent, is constitutional.
1.2.2.5 Constitutional Justice - Types of claim - Claim by a private body or individual - Trade unions.
1.5.4.7 Constitutional Justice - Decisions - Types - Interim measures.
4.18 Institutions - State of emergency and emergency powers.
5.2.1.2 Fundamental Rights - Equality - Scope of application - Employment.
5.4.3 Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Right to work.
5.4.11 Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Freedom of trade unions.
5.4.17 Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Right to just and decent working conditions.
Economic and financial crisis, policy, measure / Economy, state intervention / Emergency legislation, approval / Labour rights, restrictions, requirements / Salary, reduction, compensation.

BRA-2020-1-006 a) Brazil / b) Federal Supreme Court / c) Full Court / d) 29.04.2020 / e) Referral of the provisional remedy in the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality 6342 (ADI 6342 Ref-MC) / f) Competences of the federal entities to fight coronavirus /
A provisional presidential decree that relaxes labour rights during the public health emergency caused by the new corona virus is constitutional.
3.25 General Principles - Market economy.
5.4.3 Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Right to work.
5.4.17 Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Right to just and decent working conditions.
Enterprise, small and medium-sized / Employment, preservation, pandemic.

BRA-2020-1-007 a) Brazil / b) Federal Supreme Court / c) Full Court / d) 30.04.2020 / e) Referral of the provisional remedy in the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality 6351 (ADI 6351 Ref-MC) / f) Restrictive measures imposed on access to information law during the new coronavirus pandemic /
Changes to the law governing requests for access to information during the pandemic were in line with the Constitution.
3.3 General Principles - Democracy.
5.3.24 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to information.
5.3.25 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to administrative transparency.
Information, access, limit / Information, access, denial / Information, access, reasonable / Information, disclosure / Information, duty to provide / Information, reasonable access.

CHILE

CHI-2020-1-003 a) Chile / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 16.04.2020 / e) 8574-20 / f) /
The Constitutional Court held that making a differentiation based on the criminal offence of a convict, for the purposes of receiving a pardon, is not unconstitutional.
5.1.1 Fundamental Rights - General questions - Entitlement to rights.
5.1.1.4.3 Fundamental Rights - General questions - Entitlement to rights - Natural persons - Detainees.
5.2 Fundamental Rights - Equality.
5.2.2.7 Fundamental Rights - Equality - Criteria of distinction - Age.
5.3.5 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Individual liberty.
5.3.15 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Rights of victims of crime.
5.3.19 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Freedom of opinion.
5.4.19 Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Right to health.
COVID-19, pandemic / Pardon, power to grant, acting President / Pardon, restriction.

GERMANY

GER-2020-1-007 a) Germany / b) Federal Constitutional Court / c) Third Chamber of the First Panel / d) 07.04.2020 / e) 1 BvR 755/20 / f) Measures against the spread of coronavirus /
1. Lodging a constitutional complaint or an application for a preliminary injunction does not violate the principle of subsidiarity where first seeking legal protection before the ordinary courts has no prospect of success, as the courts have already refused to grant preliminary injunctions in other proceedings. 2. A valid legal provision can, in the course of preliminary injunction proceedings,... Read more
1.5.4.7 Constitutional Justice - Decisions - Types - Interim measures.
3.17 General Principles - Weighing of interests.
COVID-19 / Legal provisions, suspension.

HUNGARY

HUN-2020-2-003 a) Hungary / b) Constitutional Court / c) Plenary / d) 08.07.2020 / e) 15/2020. (VII. 8.) AB / f) On formulating a constitutional requirement stemming from Articles IX.1 and XXVIII.4 of the Fundamental Law regarding the application of Section 337.2 of Act C of 2012 of the Criminal Code and on rejecting a constitutional complaint against Section 337.2 of Act C of 2012 of the Criminal Code /
Statements made with the intent to obstruct or prevent the effectiveness of protective measures under the special legal order will only be penalised if the perpetrator knew, or should have known, that they were false at the time he or she made them.
4.18 Institutions - State of emergency and emergency powers.
5.3.21 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Freedom of expression.
COVID-19, special legal order.

KOSOVO

KOS-2020-1-001 a) Kosovo / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 06.04.2020 / e) KO 54/20 / f) President - Constitutional review of Decision no. 01/15 of the Government, 23 March 2020 /
Fundamental rights and freedoms cannot be restricted through Government decisions unless a restriction of the relevant right is provided by the law of the Assembly. The Government can only enforce a law of the Assembly that restricts a fundamental right and freedom only to the specific extent authorised by the Assembly through the relevant law. Restrictions of fundamental rights and freedoms as... Read more
1.3.5.10 Constitutional Justice - Jurisdiction - The subject of review - Rules issued by the executive.
2.1.1.4.4 Sources - Categories - Written rules - International instruments - European Convention on Human Rights of 1950.
2.1.3.2.1 Sources - Categories - Case-law - International case-law - European Court of Human Rights.
3.4 General Principles - Separation of powers.
3.9 General Principles - Rule of law.
3.16 General Principles - Proportionality.
4.5.7 Institutions - Legislative bodies - Relations with the executive bodies.
4.18 Institutions - State of emergency and emergency powers.
5.1.4 Fundamental Rights - General questions - Limits and restrictions.
5.1.5 Fundamental Rights - General questions - Emergency situations.
5.3.6 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Freedom of movement.
5.3.28 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Freedom of assembly.
5.3.32 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to private life.
5.3.33 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to family life.
COVID-19, Public health.

NORWAY

NOR-2020-1-006 a) Norway / b) Supreme Court / c) Division / d) 08.05.2020 / e) HR-2020-972-A / f) /
The right to be brought before a court upon an initial remand in custody is a basic due process guarantee and the Corona Regulations must be interpreted within the scope of Article 5.3 ECHR and Article 94.2 of the Constitution.
5.3.5.1.3 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Individual liberty - Deprivation of liberty - Detention pending trial.
5.3.13 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Procedural safeguards, rights of the defence and fair trial.
COVID-19 regulations, scope, limits.

ORGANISATION OF AMERICAN STATES

IAC-2020-2-001 a) Organisation of American States / b) Inter-American Court of Human Rights / c) / d) 27.07.2020 / e) ***/ f) Vélez Loor v. Panama / f) /
The decision to adopt provisional measures to ensure the health, life and integrity of migrants who are being held in two migrant reception centres in Panamá established a number of minimum requirements to ensure the human rights of migrants held in such facilities due to border closures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The difficulties of the current context required synergy and... Read more
2.1.1.4.11 Sources - Categories - Written rules - International instruments - American Convention on Human Rights of 1969.
3.18 General Principles - General interest.
5.1.1.3 Fundamental Rights - General questions - Entitlement to rights - Foreigners.
5.1.3 Fundamental Rights - General questions - Positive obligation of the state.
5.3.2 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to life.
5.3.4 Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to physical and psychological integrity.
5.4.19 Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Right to health.
COVID-19, pandemic, measures / Migrant, reception centres / Migrant rights / Right to health.

UKRAINE

UKR-2020-2-015 a) Ukraine / b) Constitutional Court / c) Grand Chamber / d) 28.08.2020 / e) 10-r/2020 / f) Constitutionality of certain provisions of the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers on the "Establishment of quarantine to prevent the spread of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Ukraine and the stages of mitigation of anti-epidemic measures", the provisions of Article 29.1 and 29.3 of the Law on the "State Budget for 2020", paragraph 2.9 of Section II "Final Provisions" of the Law on "Amendments to the Law on the State Budget for 2020"") /
The provisions of Article 29.1, 29.3 of the Law on the "State Budget for 2020", 14 November 2019 no. 294–IX as amended, and the provisions of paragraph 2.9 of Section II "Final Provisions" of the Law on "Amendments to the Law "On the State Budget for 2020"", 13 April 2020, no. 553–IX, are inconsistent with the Constitution (unconstitutional).
3.10 General Principles - Certainty of the law.
4.6.2 Institutions - Executive bodies - Powers.
4.7 Institutions - Judicial bodies.
COVID-19 / Judge, remuneration, change / Judge, remuneration, guarantee / Judge, remuneration, reduction, coronavirus / Judge, salary, judicial independence.

B. Systematic Thesaurus
1.2.1.1Constitutional Justice - Types of claim - Claim by a public body - Head of State.ARG-2020-1-001
1.2.2.5Constitutional Justice - Types of claim - Claim by a private body or individual - Trade unions.BRA-2020-1-005
1.3.5.9Constitutional Justice - Jurisdiction - The subject of review - Parliamentary rules.ARG-2020-1-001
1.3.5.10Constitutional Justice - Jurisdiction - The subject of review - Rules issued by the executive.KOS-2020-1-001
1.5.3Constitutional Justice - Decisions - Form.ARG-2020-1-001
1.5.4.7Constitutional Justice - Decisions - Types - Interim measures.BRA-2020-1-005, GER-2020-1-007
2.1.1.4.4Sources - Categories - Written rules - International instruments - European Convention on Human Rights of 1950.BIH-2020-1-001, KOS-2020-1-001
2.1.1.4.11Sources - Categories - Written rules - International instruments - American Convention on Human Rights of 1969.IAC-2020-2-001
2.1.3.2.1Sources - Categories - Case-law - International case-law - European Court of Human Rights.KOS-2020-1-001
3.3General Principles - Democracy.BRA-2020-1-007
3.4General Principles - Separation of powers.KOS-2020-1-001
3.9General Principles - Rule of law.BIH-2020-1-001, KOS-2020-1-001
3.10General Principles - Certainty of the law.UKR-2020-2-015
3.12General Principles - Clarity and precision of legal provisions.BIH-2020-1-001, AUT-2020-2-002
3.13General Principles - Legality.AUT-2020-2-002
3.16General Principles - Proportionality.BIH-2020-1-001, KOS-2020-1-001
3.17General Principles - Weighing of interests.BIH-2020-1-001, GER-2020-1-007
3.18General Principles - General interest.IAC-2020-2-001
3.22General Principles - Prohibition of arbitrariness.BIH-2020-1-001
3.25General Principles - Market economy.BRA-2020-1-006
4.5.2Institutions - Legislative bodies - Powers.ARG-2020-1-001
4.5.2.1Institutions - Legislative bodies - Powers - Competences with respect to international agreements.ARG-2020-1-001
4.5.2.2Institutions - Legislative bodies - Powers - Powers of enquiry.ARG-2020-1-001
4.5.2.3Institutions - Legislative bodies - Powers - Delegation to another legislative body.ARG-2020-1-001
4.5.6Institutions - Legislative bodies - Law-making procedure.ARG-2020-1-001
4.5.7Institutions - Legislative bodies - Relations with the executive bodies.KOS-2020-1-001
4.6.2Institutions - Executive bodies - Powers.UKR-2020-2-015
4.6.3.2Institutions - Executive bodies - Application of laws - Delegated rule-making powers.AUT-2020-2-002
4.7Institutions - Judicial bodies.UKR-2020-2-015
4.18Institutions - State of emergency and emergency powers.BIH-2020-1-001, BRA-2020-1-005, KOS-2020-1-001, HUN-2020-2-003
5.1.1Fundamental Rights - General questions - Entitlement to rights.CHI-2020-1-003
5.1.1.3Fundamental Rights - General questions - Entitlement to rights - Foreigners.IAC-2020-2-001
5.1.1.4.3Fundamental Rights - General questions - Entitlement to rights - Natural persons - Detainees.CHI-2020-1-003
5.1.3Fundamental Rights - General questions - Positive obligation of the state.IAC-2020-2-001
5.1.4Fundamental Rights - General questions - Limits and restrictions.KOS-2020-1-001
5.1.4.2Fundamental Rights - General questions - Limits and restrictions - General/special clause of limitation.BIH-2020-1-001
5.1.4.3Fundamental Rights - General questions - Limits and restrictions - Subsequent review of limitation.BIH-2020-1-001
5.1.5Fundamental Rights - General questions - Emergency situations.BIH-2020-1-001, KOS-2020-1-001, AUT-2020-2-003, AUT-2020-2-002
5.2Fundamental Rights - Equality.CHI-2020-1-003, AUT-2020-2-003
5.2.1.2Fundamental Rights - Equality - Scope of application - Employment.BRA-2020-1-005
5.2.2.7Fundamental Rights - Equality - Criteria of distinction - Age.CHI-2020-1-003
5.3.2Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to life.IAC-2020-2-001
5.3.4Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to physical and psychological integrity.IAC-2020-2-001
5.3.5Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Individual liberty.CHI-2020-1-003
5.3.5.1.3Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Individual liberty - Deprivation of liberty - Detention pending trial.NOR-2020-1-006
5.3.6Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Freedom of movement.BIH-2020-1-001, KOS-2020-1-001, AUT-2020-2-002
5.3.13Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Procedural safeguards, rights of the defence and fair trial.NOR-2020-1-006
5.3.15Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Rights of victims of crime.CHI-2020-1-003
5.3.19Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Freedom of opinion.CHI-2020-1-003
5.3.21Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Freedom of expression.HUN-2020-2-003
5.3.24Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to information.BRA-2020-1-007
5.3.25Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to administrative transparency.BRA-2020-1-007
5.3.28Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Freedom of assembly.KOS-2020-1-001
5.3.32Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to private life.KOS-2020-1-001
5.3.33Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to family life.KOS-2020-1-001
5.3.39.3Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to property - Other limitations.AUT-2020-2-003
5.3.44Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Rights of the child.BIH-2020-1-001
5.4.3Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Right to work.BRA-2020-1-005, BRA-2020-1-006
5.4.11Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Freedom of trade unions.BRA-2020-1-005
5.4.17Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Right to just and decent working conditions.BRA-2020-1-005, BRA-2020-1-006
5.4.19Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Right to health.CHI-2020-1-003, IAC-2020-2-001

C. Alphabetical Index

Children, special needs, mental and physical condition BIH-2020-1-001
Circumstance, exceptional BIH-2020-1-001
COVID-19 ARG-2020-1-001, BIH-2020-1-001, GER-2020-1-007, UKR-2020-2-015, AUT-2020-2-003, AUT-2020-2-002
COVID-19 regulations, scope, limits NOR-2020-1-006
COVID-19, pandemic CHI-2020-1-003
COVID-19, pandemic, measures IAC-2020-2-001
COVID-19, Public health KOS-2020-1-001
COVID-19, special legal order HUN-2020-2-003
Economic and financial crisis, policy, measure BRA-2020-1-005
Economy, state intervention BRA-2020-1-005
Emergency legislation, approval BRA-2020-1-005
Employment, preservation, pandemic BRA-2020-1-006
Enterprise, small and medium-sized BRA-2020-1-006
Epidemic AUT-2020-2-002, AUT-2020-2-003
Freedom of movement, temporary restriction AUT-2020-2-002
Information, access, denial BRA-2020-1-007
Information, access, limit BRA-2020-1-007
Information, access, reasonable BRA-2020-1-007
Information, disclosure BRA-2020-1-007
Information, duty to provide BRA-2020-1-007
Information, reasonable access BRA-2020-1-007
Judge, remuneration, change UKR-2020-2-015
Judge, remuneration, guarantee UKR-2020-2-015
Judge, remuneration, reduction, coronavirus UKR-2020-2-015
Judge, salary, judicial independence UKR-2020-2-015
Labour rights, restrictions, requirements BRA-2020-1-005
Legal provisions, suspension GER-2020-1-007
Legality AUT-2020-2-002
Migrant rights IAC-2020-2-001
Migrant, reception centres IAC-2020-2-001
Pardon, power to grant, acting President CHI-2020-1-003
Pardon, restriction CHI-2020-1-003
Parliament, virtual sessions ARG-2020-1-001
Person, elderly BIH-2020-1-001
Protection of the existent health system BIH-2020-1-001
Right to health IAC-2020-2-001
Right to property, compensation for loss of earnings AUT-2020-2-003
Salary, reduction, compensation BRA-2020-1-005

Ed. 22.10.2020 19:21:17