The government declared a state of emergency on 14 March 2020 to curb the first wave of Covid-19 infections.
At the time, coronavirus cases and deaths were rising and hospitals were quickly becoming overwhelmed. Since then, more than 81,000 people in Spain have died with coronavirus.
Spain has three levels of emergency: state of emergency, state of exception, and the highest level, state of siege.
Under the emergency rules almost all people in the country were ordered to stay at home, and were only permitted to leave for essential reasons. All but essential businesses were closed.
The laws were in place until June 2020, though some restrictions were reinstated later in the year when the country faced a second wave.
But Spain’s Constitutional Court said in a statement that it had voted, by a slim majority of six to five, to find that the state of emergency was not enough to give the restrictions constitutional backing.
This is because the rules were equivalent to a suppression of fundamental rights, it said.
In order to legally limit people’s freedoms to the extent they did last year, the court said, the government would have had to declare a state of exception rather than a state of emergency.
Spain’s Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that a strict stay-at-home lockdown order the Spanish government issued under a state of emergency during the first wave of COVID-19 last year was unconstitutional.
While upholding most terms of the state of emergency, the court said provisions ordering the population off the streets except for short shopping trips, unavoidable work commutes and other essential business violated Spain’s Constitution.
The court issued a brief statement that described the ruling as a split decision. State broadcaster TVE said six magistrates were in favor and five against. The full decision is expected to be released in the coming days.
According to TVE, the court majority ruled that the limitations on movement violated citizens’ basic rights and the state of emergency was a constitutionally insufficient mechanism to do that. The six magistrates said a state of exception, which does allow the government to suspend basic rights, would have been necessary.
The Constitutional Court made its ruling in response to a lawsuit brought by Spain’s far-right Vox party. Vox leader Santiago Abascal called Wednesday for Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to step down.
“We cannot celebrate the decision because we have proof that the government was willing to break the law and tarnish the constitution,” Abascal said.
Spain’s government declared the state of emergency on March 14, 2020, three days after the World Health Organization said the spread of the coronavirus had become a pandemic.
With Spain’s hospitals filling up, Sánchez’s left-wing coalition government won parliamentary backing, including from Vox lawmakers, for the state of emergency.
Legal experts said until the court’s full decision is released, it won’t be clear if the ruling will open the gates to lawsuits against the government.
Earlier, a German court in a landmark ruling had declared that COVID-19 lockdowns imposed by the government were unconstitutional.
Recently, it was revealed that the German Interior Ministry hired scientists to develop a fake coronavirus model in order to justify strict lockdown, according to extensive email exchanges obtained by a group of lawyers in a legal dispute.
An American federal judge also ruled coronavirus restrictions in Pennsylvania as unconstitutional.
A major lawsuit has also been filed against the PM of Denmark for strict COVID-19 restrictions and for killing almost 17 million minks.
The Hague Court as well ruled that the COVID-19 lockdown which was imposed by the Dutch Govt had no legal basis and that it was illegal. However, the Dutch appeals court oveturned the ruling within hours which ordered the government to lift the “illegitimate” measure immediately.
The appeals judges argued that they wanted to avoid what they called a “yo-yo effect,” referring to public confusion around whether the curfew was still in force.
As reported by GreatGameIndia earlier, a three judge court in Peru has ruled that the COVID-19 pandemic was started by the billionaires Bill Gates, George Soros and Rockefeller.
In the past in 2010, the WHO was caught faking a pandemic and was forced to admit that its methodology of measuring the virality or the spread of the disease, instead of its severity was incorrect.