Covid-19 and the European Convention on Human Rights

Available in Russian

Author: Jeremy McBride

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2020-2-3-17

Keywords: derogation; health; liberty; proportionality


This paper examines the implications for compliance with obligations under the ECHR of the responses that have been adopted by Council of Europe member States as a result of the threat posed by the spread or Coronavirus and the risk of succumbing to Covid-19. Although some member States have submitted derogations under Article in respect of a state of emergency declared by them, this has not been the response of others even where an emergency has been declared. After considering the possible obligation to act as a result of the threat posed by Covid-19, the paper considers the extent to which existing case law suggests at least some measures being taken would not need a derogation to be compatible with obligations under the Convention on account of the need to protect the spread of the virus. It considers in this connection restrictions on the right to liberty and freedom of movement, entry to and departure from a country, private and family life, public and private gatherings, information and expression, weddings and funerals and property, as well as the implications of testing and treatment and of compulsion to work and the importance to maintain the functioning of courts. It emphasises the need for all restrictions to have a legal basis whether or not there is a derogation and that the duration of restrictions will be an important factor in considering both their proportionality and the need for a derogation.

About the author: Jeremy McBrideBarrister – Monckton Chambers, London, the United Kingdom; Visiting Professor at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.

Citation: McBride J. (2020) Covid-19 i Evropeyskaya Konventsiya po pravam chelo­veka [Covid-19 and the European Convention on Human Rights]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol.10, no.2, pp.3–17. (In Russian).