Government to appeal court decision on Covid restriction complaints

Tallinn Administrative Court.
Tallinn Administrative Court. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The government says it plans to contest a court decision which upheld complaints from nearly 60 individuals who said that coronavirus restrictions put in place last year infringed their rights.

The first-tier Tallinn Administrative Court made its ruling on May 31, upholding the complaints, from 56 people, and finding that some points of the relevant legislation, the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act, universally known in Estonia by its acronym in Estonian, NETS were inconsistent with the Constitution.

Kateriin Pajumägi from the government's communications office said: "It is currently known that the government plans to file an appeal against this decision by the Tallinn Administrative Court , planned for mi-November."

The first-tier court found the norms under NETS were not precise and clear enough, and did not define the limits of the executive power's activities in issuing orders which put restrictions in place. According to the administrative court, the serious restrictions on fundamental rights provided for should have been established via the legislature and not by government order. 

On Monday, the Supreme Court declared that NETS was not in and of itself unconstitutional. At the same time, Supreme Court Judge Ivo Pilving said that in constitutional matters, the Supreme Court cannot assess government orders, meaning the Supreme Court dealt only with the legislative aspect.

Speaking at a press conference Monday afternoon, Pilving said: "When it comes to constitutional matters, the Supreme Court cannot assess government orders, which is why we only handled the law," Pilving said at a press conference on Monday afternoon.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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