Government actions must have limits, says president of Constitutional Court

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The freedom of State actions must be limited also during the state of emergency, said Sanita Osipova, president of the Constitutional Court, on Latvian Television February 4.

“In a state of emergency, the state has more freedom of action and the Constitution allows it, but also in a state of emergency, the Constitution continues to operate, the limitation of freedom [of the government] has to be assessed,” Osipova told LTV.

She said that there were tens of complaints to the Constitutional Court regarding Covid-19 restrictions.

For example, several legal persons had complaints to the Constitutional Court concerning gambling restrictions, which, during the pandemic, limited gambling not only on-site but also on the Internet, and which the Court found to be inconsistent with the Constitution.

Osipova explained that, on the one hand, the Court acknowledged that during the Covid-19 pandemic there were grounds for limiting gambling on-site, while restrictions on Internet gambling are not associated with the pandemic.

When imposing restrictions, the state should not interfere in what people use their money and time on, Osipova pointed out.

“What we said about online gambling is that the country should not intervene here, that it is not associated with a pandemic, this could also be applied to other restrictions that may not be directly related to the limitation of the spread of the virus,” Osipova said.

The government and the Saeima should remember this in future when imposing restrictions.


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