Deciding body (English)
Deciding body (Original)
Type of body
Type of Court (material scope)
Type of jurisdiction
Type of Court (territorial scope)
Further areas addressed
Outcome of the decision
The case was initiated on the basis of an application filed by several school students of different ages (pupils of lower/upper secondary school). The Applicants stated that at the end of the Covid-19 emergency situation across the entire territory of Latvia (which was declared during the period of March 12, 2020 until June 9, 2020 and November 9, 2020 until April 6, 2021), they continued to study remotely.
They challenged compliance with the Law on the Management of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection (para 8 of Section 4(1)); Education Law (para 11 and 124 of Section 1 and para 45 of Section 14); the Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No 360 of June 9, 2020 ‘Epidemiological Safety Measures for the Containment of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection’ (sub-para 27.1.3, para 327(2) and (3) with Art 112 (right to education) of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia.
The Plaintiffs argued that the provisions in question restricted their possibilities and accessibility to education and violated Art. 112 of the Constitution (Satversme). The Court terminated the legal proceedings in part regarding the compliance with para 45 of Section 14 of the Education Law. The Court stated that para 11 and 124 of Section 1 of the Education Law; cl. 8 of the first part of Article 4 of the Covid-19 Infection Control Law did not contradict Art. 112 of the Constitution. Corresponding provisions of Regulation No. 360 (which was in force during September 17, 2020 – August 19, 2021) were recognised in compliance with Art. 112 of the Constitution.
Facts of the case
The Applicants stated that the quality of education had declined and their education was impeded in certain other ways. The Applicants confirmed that they were aware that during an emergency situation the individuals' rights may be restricted substantially for reasons of public interest.
Type of measure challenged
Measures, actions, remedies claimed
Individual / collective enforcement
Nature of the parties
Type of procedure
Reasoning of the deciding body
Examining the case, the Court stated that para 11 and 124 of Section 1 (on distance and face-to-face learning as a part of education process) of the Education Law did not apply to the Applicants, as well as para 45 of Section 14 of the same law as the scope of this section did not cover the Applicants. Thus, the Court terminated the proceedings for this part of the claim.
Reviewing the provisions of Art. 112 (right to education) of the Constitution and assessing the conditions of the spread of Covid-19 and the role of the state during the pandemic, the Court emphasized that (i) the education system needed to be flexible enough to respond to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. (ii) the Cabinet of Ministers observed the granted powers by the legislator; (iii) the Regulation determined the principles when distance learning could be introduced and the cases when face to face learning could be continued; it did not provide new educational methods or standards that changed the education system as a whole [20.2.1-20.3]; (iv) with regard to the quality of education, the Court stated that the possible deterioration of the quality for a certain period of education did not mean that the State did not take appropriate action to ensure the admissibility aspect of the right to education. The Court did not find any significant violation of the legislative procedure while adopting the contested norms  and concluded that the measures taken by the legislator to ensure the possibility, accessibility, acceptability and adaptation of the right to education were appropriate. [22.1.], [22.2.], [22.3.], [22.4.].
Conclusions of the deciding body
The claim was dismissed by the Court.
Fundamental Right(s) involved
Fundamental Right(s) instruments (constitutional provisions, international conventions and treaties)
- Right to education, Art. 112, Latvian Constitution.
- Right to education, Art. 13, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966.
- Right of the child to education, Art. 28, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989.
Rights and freedoms specifically identified as (possibly) conflicting with the right to health
General principle applied
- Rule of law
The Court referred to the Court practice of the ECHR (i.e. case "Relating to certain aspects of the laws on the use of languages in education in Belgium", application No. 1474/62; 1677/62; 1691/62; 1769/63; 1994/63; 2126/64; Campbell and Cosans v. The United Kingdom, applications No. 7511/76 and No 7743/76; Oršuš and Others v. Croatia, No. 15766/03, etc).
References made in square brackets relate to corresponding paragraphs of the Courts' Judgment.