A Brussels judge today ruled that the Belgian cabinet must provide better legal substantiation for corona measures in Belgium. This must be done within thirty days, otherwise a penalty of 5000 euros per day will follow that the corona measures continue without legal substantiation.
Belgium went into lockdown last week due to rising hospital admissions and infection rates. Non-essential stores are only allowed to open by appointment, and large stores can let in 50 people at a time. Contact professions, such as hairdressers, also have to close their doors for the next four weeks. A curfew was already in effect; this is now being extended.
Corona measures not sufficiently substantiated
But the court finds that the corona measures are not sufficiently substantiated. It’s illegal as it is now. The measures have been introduced on the Civil Security Act and two other laws. The Civil Safety Act was introduced in 2007 after the train disaster in Ghislenglien in the Belgian province of Hainaut. The purpose of the law is to be able to act quickly in disaster situations.
However, the court does not consider these laws to be a good basis for the corona measures. For this reason, the corona measures in Belgium must be lifted or legally substantiated. If this does not happen within thirty days, the state must pay 5000 euros for each day that the corona measures continue. Up to a maximum of 200,000 euros. The Belgian cabinet can appeal, the Ministry of the Interior is studying the verdict.
Similarity with Dutch lawsuit
The ruling follows summary proceedings brought by the League for Human Rights. Liga is an independent Belgian foundation that fights “injustices and arbitrary attacks on the rights of the individual or of the community”.
The lawsuit is similar to Virus Waarheid’s lawsuit against the Dutch Cabinet. Virus truth wanted to lift curfew. The Dutch court first ruled that the curfew should be lifted. In an appeal, the court ruled that there are “extraordinary circumstances that allow the introduction of curfews”.
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