Deciding body (English)
Deciding body (Original)
Type of body
Type of Court (material scope)
Type of jurisdiction
Type of Court (territorial scope)
Outcome of the decision
The parents of some minors, went to the public school where their children were studying to request some information. The security guard of this institution did not allow them to enter because they did not show any certificate proving that they were vaccinated against COVID-19 as per the Ministry of Public Education Protocols. Therefore, these parents filed a writ of amparo against the Ministry of Public Education because they considered that this information related to the vaccine was private and protected, so these protocols violated their rights to equality and privacy.
The Court found that the Claimants' rights had not been violated because the vaccination certificates did not contain sensitive information but were a means of providing proof of vaccination.
Facts of the case
The parents of some children, went to the public school where the children were studying, to request some information. However, the security guard of this institution did not let them enter because they did not show any certificate or QR Code that certified that they had been vaccinated against COVID-19. This was necessary to enter establishments such as educational centers, according to the Ministry of Education protocols.
Due to the above, they filed an amparo action against the Ministry of Public Education because they considered that this information related to the vaccine was private and protected, so this decision violated their rights to equality and privacy.
Type of measure challenged
Measures, actions, remedies claimed
Individual / collective enforcement
Nature of the parties
Type of procedure
Reasoning of the deciding body
Firstly, the Court indicated that, in principle, the data referring to the state of health of a person is considered intimate and reserved from the knowledge of others, according to the right to privacy contained in the Political Constitution. This is because the information related to the physical or psychological health of someone is an essential element of their private life. Therefore, the Court said that a person could not be forced, without any justification, to disseminate data related to their health.
However, the Court pointed out that this was a subjective right, which could be limited to preserve other constitutional rights and goods, such as general interests related to public health. The Court added that possible limitations to the fundamental right to personal privacy must be constitutionally justified and proportionate in such cases.
On the other hand, the Court referred to the importance of vaccination as part of the essential healthcare that the Costa Rican State must guarantee to protect all inhabitants' fundamental right to health. Furthermore, it indicated that protecting public health and preventing diseases are constitutionally legitimate purposes that can legitimately justify the obligatory nature of vaccines.
Additionally, the Court pointed out that every person needed to present vaccination certificates when the authority so determined. The Court said that the COVID-19 vaccination card or the QR Code certifying such inoculation did not contain sensitive data, because it was not biomedical or genetic data or information related to the individual's medical history but was just a document that provided information related to the application of the vaccine.
Conclusions of the deciding body
The Court considered that the Claimants' rights had not been violated because the vaccination certificates did not contain sensitive information but were a means of providing information related to the vaccine application.
Fundamental Right(s) involved
- Freedom of movement of people, goods and capital
- Right to data protection
- Right to health (inc. right to vaccination, right to access to reproductive health)
- Right to privacy
Fundamental Right(s) instruments (constitutional provisions, international conventions and treaties)
- Freedom of movement of people, Art. 22, Costa Rican Constitution
- Right to health, Art. 46, Costa Rican Constitution
- Right to privacy, Art. 24, Costa Rican Constitution
Rights and freedoms specifically identified as (possibly) conflicting with the right to health
- Health v. freedom of movement of persons
- Health v. data protection
- Health v. right to privacy (private and family life)
General principle applied
Balancing techniques and principles (proportionality, reasonableness, others)
Regarding the proportionality principle, the Court indicated that any limitation to the right to privacy had to be proportionate and legally justified.
On "type of measure challenged": The Claimants challenged the decision of the public school (attached to the Ministry of Public Education) not to allow them to enter the institution because they did not have any documents proving that they had been vaccinated against COVID-19.