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Spanish court rules Covid confinement was unconstitutional

Spain’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the strict home confinement measures imposed during a national state of emergency dealing with the first wave of Covid-19 infections in March 2020 were unconstitutional.

The ruling may result in the cancellation of fines issued for breaching any of the lockdown restrictions now deemed unlawful.

The strict measures introduced at the time  allowed the government to confine almost all Spaniards to their homes and shut down all but essential industries. Critics said it was an unprecedented curtailment of civil liberties.

The Spanish Constitutional Court said that, in a simple majority decision, it had ruled to annull some articles of the state of emergency decree related to free movement of citizens.

The complete ruling is still to be released in the coming days.

The court’s decision was in response to a petition filed by the political party Vox, which argued the restrictions were overly harsh and suspended rather than limited  civil liberties of citizens.

Vox argued the restrictions should have  required the passing of a “state of exception” – a step above a state of emergency which would have required the approval of parliament, rather than simply that of the cabinet.

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