On 16 March 2023, the Constitutional Court of Slovenia has rejected the petition filed by individuals challenging the constitutionality of Covid-19 containment measures adopted by the Slovenian government since October 2020 (including the introduction of a curfew).
The Court stated that some of the challenged provisions do not violate the Constitution, while others are either already being addressed or were withdrawn or amended by the government. The Court also found that some of the petitioners did not have standing to file a constitutional challenge.
The petitioners had challenged several legal provisions, including the law on infectious diseases, various government decrees, and regulations on early detection of Covid-19 infections. They argued that the measures were illegal and arbitrary, and that the government lacked the power to impose them. However, the Court held that the measures were necessary and proportionate to protect public health and did not violate the Constitution.
Importantly, the Court decided whether it was possible to review the constitutionality of a measure that is no longer in force. The Court had done so previously and had developed criteria for such cases before the Covid-19 pandemic. The Court had also applied them in Covid-19 litigation. The key issue was whether an individual could request a constitutionality review against a general application act without being involved in judicial proceedings. The Court had allowed this in exceptional cases where legal predictability demands a decision on important constitutional questions of a systemic nature that may also apply to future acts.
This decision follows a previous ruling by the Court in May 2021 that declared certain Covid-19 containment measures to be unconstitutional. In that ruling, the Court had found that some provisions of the law on infectious diseases and government decrees violated the right to privacy, freedom of movement, and the right to work. However, the Court had not invalidated the entire law or the decrees, instead limiting its decision to specific provisions.
Reference: judgment U-I-178/22 / ECLI:SI:USRS:2023:U.I.178.22.