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COVID-19 Legal Insights
 
 
 
COVID-19 Legal Insights
COVID-19 Legal Insights is our response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We shall keep you informed on the various legal challenges posed by the coronavirus, thanks to a dedicated practice group comprising lawyers with different backgrounds, such as compliance/regulatory, corporate and commercial, insurance, labour and employment, litigation and arbitration, insolvency, public procurement, data privacy, tax and customs. In addition, our taskforce offers strategic advice on crisis-specific matters: corporate restructuring, review and (re)negotiation of agreements (including collective bargaining agreements and individual employment contracts), performance of the contracts which are affected by force majeure and hardship, unblocking pre-litigation relationships, etc.
COVID-19 Legal Insights is our response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We shall keep you informed on the various legal challenges posed by the coronavirus, thanks to a dedicated practice group comprising lawyers with different backgrounds, such as compliance/regulatory, corporate and commercial, insurance, labour and employment, litigation and arbitration, insolvency, public procurement, data privacy, tax and customs. In addition, our taskforce offers strategic advice on crisis-specific matters: corporate restructuring, review and (re)negotiation of agreements (including collective bargaining agreements and individual employment contracts), performance of the contracts which are affected by force majeure and hardship, unblocking pre-litigation relationships, etc.
Currently Romania undergoes a vaccination campaign for COVID-19. Vaccination is voluntary; Romania did not adopt any legislation to mandate vaccines - either directly, by imposing an obligation to take the vaccine on all persons, or certain categories of persons, or indirectly, by limiting unvaccinated persons' access to certain activities or spaces. Nor did Romania adopt any generally applicable legal norms to condition the access of persons to social or professional activities on presenting a SARS-CoV-2 test; the only such regulations, administrative in nature, exist in international transportation and sanitary domains. Vaccination and testing being both medical procedures, they are regulated by the Oviedo Convention, which provides (in Art. 5) that any medical intervention requires the free and informed consent of the person undergoing the intervention. Medical procedures also fall under the remit of the European Convention on Human Rights, which recognizes and protects the right to private life (Art. 8) (which includes the physical integrity of the person, the right to autonomy, the right to self-determination, the right to take decisions regarding one's own body) as well as the freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Art. 9). According to Art. 53 para (1) of the Constitution of Romania, the exercise of rights and freedoms can only be restricted by law. Against this background, we note that, according to public information, certain organizations are taking measures to restrict the exercise of rights for persons that do not present proof of vaccination or testing. A recent example is Resolution No. 6/4640/1 March 2021 of the Administrative Board of "Victor Babes" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, which recommends students who are not vaccinated/immunized continue their studies on-line. Such measures can qualify as discrimination and can successfully be challenged before the competent fora. We briefly analyze below the legal condition of a discriminatory act and the procedural remedies available to the person who falls victim to discrimination. To read the entire legal insight, please download the .pdf attached (English and Romanian).
Discrimination issues in the context of the national vaccination campaign for SARS-CoV-2 (12 March 2021)
 

Currently Romania undergoes a vaccination campaign for COVID-19. Vaccination is voluntary; Romania did not adopt any legislation to mandate vaccines - either directly, by imposing an obligation to take the vaccine on all persons, or certain categories of persons, or indirectly, by limiting unvaccinated persons' access to certain activities or spaces. Nor did Romania adopt any generally applicable legal norms to condition the access of persons to social or professional activities on presenting a SARS-CoV-2 test; the only such regulations, administrative in nature, exist in international transportation and sanitary domains.

Vaccination and testing being both medical procedures, they are regulated by the Oviedo Convention, which provides (in Art. 5) that any medical intervention requires the free and informed consent of the person undergoing the intervention. Medical procedures also fall under the remit of the European Convention on Human Rights, which recognizes and protects the right to private life (Art. 8) (which includes the physical integrity of the person, the right to autonomy, the right to self-determination, the right to take decisions regarding one's own body) as well as the freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Art. 9).

According to Art. 53 para (1) of the Constitution of Romania, the exercise of rights and freedoms can only be restricted by law.

Against this background, we note that, according to public information, certain organizations are taking measures to restrict the exercise of rights for persons that do not present proof of vaccination or testing. A recent example is Resolution No. 6/4640/1 March 2021 of the Administrative Board of "Victor Babeș" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timișoara, which recommends students who are not vaccinated/immunized continue their studies on-line.

Such measures can qualify as discrimination and can successfully be challenged before the competent fora. We briefly analyze below the legal condition of a discriminatory act and the procedural remedies available to the person who falls victim to discrimination.

To read the entire legal insight, please download the .pdf attached (English and Romanian).

Article 15 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) provides for the possibility of the signatory states to derogate from the provisions guaranteeing the protection of fundamental human rights to the extent strictly required by the public danger situation and only after the prior notification of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. On 17 March 2020, the Permanent Representation of Romania registered at the Secretariat General of the Council of Europe a note verbale whereby it announced that some of the emergency measures taken by Presidential Decree No. 195/2020 establishing the state of emergency involve derogations from the obligations undertaken under the ECHR. Relevant highlights: What does ECHR Article 15 provide? What are the rights in respect of which no derogations or reservations may be formulated? What are the exceptional situations in which derogations may be formulated? Under what conditions can derogatory measures be taken? What are those rights restricted by the measures taken by the Romanian state? What remedies do the persons in respect to whom disproportionate or unjustified restrictive measures have been taken have at their disposal? To read the entire legal insight, please download the .pdf attached (English and Romanian).
Romania activated the derogation from the application of the provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights in the context of the state of emergency generated by the COVID-19 epidemic (24 March 2020)
 

Article 15 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) provides for the possibility of the signatory states to derogate from the provisions guaranteeing the protection of fundamental human rights to the extent strictly required by the public danger situation and only after the prior notification of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

On 17 March 2020, the Permanent Representation of Romania registered at the Secretariat General of the Council of Europe a note verbale whereby it announced that some of the emergency measures taken by Presidential Decree No. 195/2020 establishing the state of emergency involve derogations from the obligations undertaken under the ECHR.

Relevant highlights:

  • What does ECHR Article 15 provide?
  • What are the rights in respect of which no derogations or reservations may be formulated?
  • What are the exceptional situations in which derogations may be formulated?
  • Under what conditions can derogatory measures be taken?
  • What are those rights restricted by the measures taken by the Romanian state?
  • What remedies do the persons in respect to whom disproportionate or unjustified restrictive measures have been taken have at their disposal?

To read the entire legal insight, please download the .pdf attached (English and Romanian).



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