CYIL vol. 11 (2020)
CYIL 11 (2020) STATE RESPONSE TO COVID-19 LIMITING HUMAN RIGHTS … from human rights are applicable. It is necessary to ascertain whether the measure taken is foreseen by law, is reaching one of the aims listed in the Convention, is necessary for the attainment of those aims and proportionate. In this case the aim is protecting public health, minimizing the spread of COVID-19, and minimizing the shock for the health care system. The threat is unprecedented, as it does not stem from the actions of people, but from a particle dangerous to us all. Let’s hope that the states make reasonable and timely decisions regarding the restrictions in place so that the virus does not spread, and we can see the end of those limitations when the disease starts to retreat. Comparing the two regimes at hand we can see that they have many criteria in common. In both cases the principle of proportionality is applicable – no action may be taken if it is not necessary and proportionate to the aims sought – to the containment of the virus and saving lives. In both cases the restrictions have to be foreseen in national laws enacted by parliament. The duration of the measures has to be as limited as possible. However, the distribution of the powers of institutions might be different, as national emergency regime allows for shift in regular decision making to fit the exigencies of the situation. Secondly, it would seem that the margin of appreciation is wider in cases of national emergency than in the regime of quarantine.
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