Govt ordered to check justification of restrictions on movement every week

Ljubljana, 17 April - The Constitutional Court has ordered the government to immediately verify the justification for restrictions on the movement of persons put in place to contain the spread of coronavirus, whereupon it must examine every week whether the government decree imposing these restrictions is still justifiable.

The Constitutional Court gets a rejuvinated bench.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA
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The decision, released on Friday, refers to the most far-reaching government decree to combat the crisis, which was adopted on 29 March and amended on 14 April and effectively put the entire country into lockdown, allowing only limited exemptions to the prohibition of movement, including going to work, the grocery store or the nearest park.

The court has now suspended Article 7 of the decree, which determines that the measures will be in place "until the cessation of the reasons", a provision which gives the government the discretion to decide when to end the measures. The suspension will remain in place until the judges reach a substantive decision.

In the meantime, the government must verify the justification for the extension of the measures every week based on expert opinion to verify "whether the measures are necessary for the achievement of the objectives". The first such assessment must be made as soon as the decision is formally served to the government.

The court says it realises that the decree will cease to apply at some point anyway, but it says that it admitted the application nevertheless since it raises "important issues concerning constitutional law".

© STA, 2020