Constitutional Court of BiH found violation of freedom of movement by measures imposed against COVID-19 virus

The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has concluded on 22.04.2020 that there had been a violation of the appellant’s right to freedom of movement under Article II(3)(m) of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention) due to the challenged orders of the Federal Headquarters of the Civil Protection No. 12-40-6-148-34/20 of 20 March 2020 and No. 12-40-6-34-1/20 of 27 March 2020 (ordering prohibition of movement of the persons less than 18 years of age and over age 65 on the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina) in relation to appellants and all other persons in relevantly same situation as to the facts and law Herzegovina (judgment no. AP 1217/20).

 The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Civil Protection Headquarters are ordered to harmonise the Order of the Federal Civil Protection Headquarters of 27 March 2020 with the standards arising under Article II(3)(m) of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 to the European Convention, within five days as from the date of the receipt of this Decision. 

The Government of F BiH and Federal Civil Protection Headquarters, have been further ordered to inform the Constitutional Court on the implementation of the order referred to in this decision within the following period of three days.

In the opinion of the Constitutional Court, the challenged measures do not meet the request of „proportionality“ arising under Article 2 of Protocol no. 4 to the European Convention as the challenged provisions do not disclose the basis for the assessment of the Federal Civil Protection Headquarters that the challenged groups the measures refer to, carry a greater risk of being infected or spreading the infection with COVID-19. Further, no possibility of introducing more lenient measures has been considered if there is a justified presence of such a risk. In addition, they have not been limited strictly by time nor has the obligation of their review at regular intervals been established in order to secure they are implemented as long as deemed “necessary” for the purpose of Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 to the European Convention or that they are reduced or terminated as soon as the situation allows for it. 

The decision of the Constitutional Court was made on the application of citizens.

References from the official website of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina