The Justice of Peace of Lucca confirms the trend of annulling sanctions for over-50s who refused to undergo mandatory vaccination.

In Italy, mandatory vaccination for citizens above 50 years old had been introduced by Legislative Decree No. 44 of 2021, which had also established sanctions in case of non-compliance.

However, many people who had refused to undergo vaccination started appealing such fines, finding general support from courts. For instance, the Justice of Peace of Turin and the Justice of Peace of Asti annulled the sanctions imposed on no-vax over 50s last spring.

In this case, the Justice of Peace of Lucca decided to act accordingly, but for different reasons.

Indeed, even if the sanction had to be considered void for procedural reasons (namely, the fact that the Ministry of Health had not notified the claimant to warn them that the proceeding had started), the court decided to address the merits of the matter as well.

In this regard, the court held that, according to a constitutionally oriented interpretation, vaccination should not be considered a legal duty of the individual, but a moral one. In fact, the individual's free choice is defended by Article 32.2 of the Constitution, which clearly enlists the types of treatment which can be imposed on citizens. This means that vaccination against COVID-19 ought to be optional. Indeed, the court highlighted how recent Constitutional Court judgments had deemed mandatory vaccination to be legitimate for certain professional categories which work in contact with the public such as healthcare professionals, school teachers and servicemen, as a way to safeguard collective health (on the topic, see also judgment n°186/2023).

On the contrary, the question of the legitimacy of the vaccine for people over-50s who do not belong to a certain professional category had not been analysed properly.

Finally, the court stated that, due to the adverse effects of vaccination, the possibility for no-vax people to invoke the state of necessity or legitimate defence clause could not be excluded.

For these reasons, the Justice of Peace of Lucca annulled the sanction imposed on the claimant.

Full text of the decision available at it