Home News Vaccines, obligations and prohibitions: the public interest always prevails

Vaccines, obligations and prohibitions: the public interest always prevails

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Vaccines, obligations and prohibitions: the public interest always prevails

With a single, concise statement, the Constitutional Court announced the outcome of a judgment that concerned delicate issues relating to vaccination obligations and invested the state’s strategies in the fight against the pandemic as a whole. Naturally we can only make some predictions, limiting ourselves to imagining what the sentence will specify in the body of the motivation. However, as of now, at least one consideration can be made without too much fear of being proven wrong.

The collective interest is privileged

In declaring the questions raised by five judicial offices partly inadmissible and partly unfounded, the judges of Palazzo della Consulta seem to have confirmed the trends that had already emerged in some of their precedents, in which it was clear the collective interest in health is privileged over the rights of individuals, even very important ones such as self-determination or work.

The few lines released by the press office certainly do not allow us to go through the loops of what will be the arguments of the Court and therefore, as the wisest of the commentators repeat, we have to wait for the reasons. This does not mean, however, that in addition to guessing what was one of the underlying reasons for the decision, one cannot also hazard some reflections for yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Reasonable choices of the legislator

For the past, the Court seems to have confirmed the reasonableness of the legislator’s choices regarding the imposition of vaccination obligations on healthcare workers, whatever the function they perform, or whether or not they are in contact with patients. Similarly, the rule that excluded health and school personnel suspended from work because they were not vaccinated was not considered disproportionate. Finally, a question proposed by the Lombardy Regional Administrative Court which arose from the case of an unvaccinated psychologist, who could not practice the profession even remotely, was defined as inadmissible, because she was suspended from the professional order.

Some questions may also have been resolved for procedural reasons, but certainly the diversity of the events brought to the attention of the Court, and with them the interests at stake, suggests that from the point of view of the judge of the laws the work of our Government ( or perhaps even of our Governments) in the most difficult moments of the pandemic should not be censored. And perhaps therefore the cautious satisfaction expressed by those who have held the truly unenviable role of minister of health in recent years is not entirely out of place.

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