Final Word from Monday, November 30, 2020

Chief Justice Pavel Rychetský of the Constitutional Court told Czech TV last night (at the 31-minute mark) that it was "absolutely unconstitutional" for the government of Andrej Babiš to close the borders in March and to deny people the right to leave. Because of the totalitarian regime that existed, he said, it is stated explicitly in the Constitution that no one may be prevented from leaving the country. That's certainly true under Art. 14 of the Bill of Rights, but this right may in fact be limited under the same article if it is necessary for purposes of national security, public order, public health, protecting the rights and freedoms of others, or protecting nature. The same article also guarantees the right to move about the country, with the same limitations. If, as Rychetský seems to be arguing, the public-health threat was not sufficient to prevent someone from leaving the country, then it must have also been "absolutely unconstitutional" to order people to stay at home. [ Czech Republic freedom of movement Television Interview ČT24 ]

Glossary of difficult words

Bill of Rights - we did not link to an English translation of the Czech Bill of Rights, because all available translations fail to mention "public health" (ochrana zdraví) under Art. 14.

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