Court rejects complain from several judges on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination

Latvian administrative district court has rejected a complaint submitted by multiple judges in regards to the compulsory Covid-19 vaccination.
The complaint and request to re-evaluate the government’s decision to make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for workers of certain sectors was submitted by Riga Regional Court judges Normunds Riņķis, Iveta Stuberovska and Olita Blūmfelde, as well as Zemgale Regional Court judges Svetlana Maršāne and Visvaldis Sprudāns.
As reported by LTV, Riga Regional Court’s statement details that all three judges who failed to present valid Covid-19 certificates took sick leave in November. In one case a judge caught Covid-19 infection. In another a judge went on vacation after sick leave, stating also that vaccination course has commenced. This is why there are concerns only for one remaining judge.
«Currently we do not know if this judge’s work inability turns out long. Once more information has been received, the decision will be made on transferring this judge’s cases to other judges,» said Riga Regional Court’s representative Raimonds Ločmelis.
Non-vaccinated judges Sprudzāns and Maršāne of Zemgale Regional Court continue working, but only remotely.
To decide how to move forward, Zamgale Regional Court plans to wait for the ruling of the administrative court. Judge Ilze Freimane stresses that ‘whether or not failure to undergo vaccination is a reason enough for dismissal is a topic for the disciplinary board’.
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This is the second such case that has reached a court of first instance. Both of them have been rejected. The first one was submitted by Ministry of Welfare official Sandra Rucka, her husband Gunārs Rucka and daughter Kristīne Rucka about the requirement for compulsory vaccination. So far the court has received 200 such requests.
As the Administrative District Court explained in the ruling for Rucka’s case – the complaint about compulsory vaccination was rejected because the benefit to society from making vaccination a duty exceeds the potential damages caused by the violation of people’s rights.
The court admits the vaccination duty with consequences for non-compliance does limit private persons’ rights for private life and the freedom to choose jobs based on their qualifications and skills.
After evaluating details of the case, the court concluded the duty presented by the government was adopted in accordance with the law and has a legitimate goal – immediate social need to protect the rights and society during the pandemic, as well as limit the spread of the infection while also providing uninterrupted state functions and services. This is a balanced approach – the government’s employed measures are justified to accomplish a legitimate goal.
To limit the spread of Covid-19 in Latvia the Cabinet of Ministers decided that people employed in the public sector are to vaccinate by 15 November. Those who will have commenced the vaccination course by them but have not received a vaccination certificate will be able to continue performing their duties normally both remotely or in person. For these people the term for acquisition of Covid-19 certificate has been extended until 15 December.