Restrictions on freedom of movement and “responsible criticism”

Today more than ever, the freedom of movement, among others, is subject to severe restrictions. This is undoubtedly due to the preeminent need to counter the spread of Sars-Cov-2 virus, but, although the severity of the pandemic cannot be underestimated, it is necessary to keep public opinion alert on the legitimacy of the measures limiting fundamental freedoms. Indeed, the level of vigilance against such measures cannot be lowered even when they appear to be widely justifiable. The need to flat the contagion curve seems to find in freedom of movement and residence the weak link, if not a real sacrificial victim. Yet the same sense of belonging to a social community that requires to be “responsible” with respect to behaviours that can favour the spread of the virus also requires not to become accustomed to measures restricting freedoms and to be “responsibly critical” towards them.

Right to legal defence and Covid-19 between effectiveness and social responsibility

During the pandemic, the inviolable right to legal defence, pursuant to art. 24 of the Italian Constitution and to art. 6 of the ECHR, was put under stress. This right was compressed as lawyers, by virtue of the provisions aimed at limiting the infection, were able to carry out their defensive activity in a limited way. Therefore, measures have been adopted to implement telematic trials and guarantee participation in remote court hearings. These instruments raise constitutionality doubts about the effectiveness of the right to legal defence since it is not easy to guarantee the right to be heard. However, the emphasis should be placed on the social responsibility of the employees in the justice sector, who during the pandemic should prefer remote communications with the public and proceed with vaccination to protect the community. Lastly, the rulers have the responsibility to guarantee the right to legal defence through the adaption of spaces of the Courts to the anti-Covid provisions.

The right to health to the test of the pandemic emergency

The Covid-19 pandemic justified numerous limitations of fundamental rights in order to protect the pre-eminent right to health. The continuation of the emergency dimension has forced to face also other emergencies: in particular, there has been a conflict of the right to health with itself. To what extent can the treatment of patients with covid-19, a contagious disease, be a priority at the expense of patients with serious but not contagious diseases? Was there a proper balance? In accordance with the general principle of proportionality, it is necessary to treat both Covid-19 disease and “non Covid” patients at the same time. In this regard, a state intervention is essential, respecting the distribution of competences constitutionally guaranteed to the Regions. It is also problematic to identify an appropriate instrument of standardization to be adopted in these cases: ministerial acts (shared with the regions), urgent decrees, or a law of Parliament.

Prohibitions and civil disobedience in the time of the pandemic: the case of the free exercise of economic enterprise

The exercise of economic enterprise has been excessively compressed in the last year, becoming the symbol of the conflict between individual and collective interests in times of pandemic. The persistence of restrictions, then, redirected the spotlight on a classic theme of constitutionalism: civil disobedience as an extreme remedy against the injustice of a rule.
Referring to the exercise of economic enterprise, therefore, we will try to analyze the relationship between civil disobedience and emergency legislation. On the one hand it is undeniable that the conscious violation of the covid-19 prohibitions is proposed as a protest against the compression of individual freedom. On the other such behavior integrates an infringement that constitutes a violation of duties of social solidarity.

The Refusal of a Covid-19 Vaccine, between Individual Freedom and Social Responsibility

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought attention back to the topic of vaccinations.
Recently, some very rare side effects have led many people to refuse some proposed vaccines, considering “messenger RNA” vaccines a safer alternative.
This phenomenon (different from the case of No-Vax people) leads us to question the legal consequences of refusing a vaccine – an exercise of the freedom of self-determination in the therapeutic field – and its related social responsibilities.
In this context, the proposed sanctions for the refusal a certain type of vaccine and the reward rules for those who get vaccinated (such as the EU Green pass) should be examined. In this regard, it is necessary to reflect on the fact that these measures may affect the freedom of self-determination of the person, in a scientific context that has not yet ruled out a causal link between the very rare lethal events and vaccination.

e-enjoyment of fundamental rights and social responsibility

At the dawn of the Internet, the digital sphere of life was an appendix to the analogical one in which to carry out few activities.The affirmation of forms of interaction such as socials has started the transferring of analogical activities on the web:the pandemic has accelerated this process and has made the digital dimension the only one in which to exercise many fundamental rights.The resonance offered to any kind of expression, regardless of its reliability, has already shown that it can threaten the integrity of democratic systems (populism) and the protection of public health (fake news on vaccines).Therefore, in a hyper-connected world, it’s necessary to reassess what social responsibilities arise from the exercise of freedom of expression of citizens and politicians, with respect to their contacts or their voters; freedom of press by newspapers, that should not feed fake news; freedom of enterprise by socials, which should fight the abuse of informatic tools on their platforms