Restriction of civil rights due to COVID-19
Civil Rights Restriction
In an interview with the agency, the minister said: "Protecting human life and health is more important than anything else." She noted that the German Constitutional Court holds the same position. The reproaches addressed in this regard to her: they say that she is sowing panic, citing the figures of those who died from infection with coronavirus (in Germany more than 2 thousand people died at the time of the interview), are unfounded.
The Minister recognized that the restrictions introduced also affect the fundamental German rights of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution. In this regard, the agency cites the decision of the Constitutional Court, which confirmed the ban on visiting religious institutions introduced in the state of Hesse. Although opponents of this step reproached the authorities of the earth for restricting religious freedom.
According to Lambrecht, the measures taken, which include the closure of schools and other educational institutions, restaurants and pubs, shops, with the exception of supermarkets, the prohibition of visiting churches and other religious institutions, individual quarantine (for different lands these measures are differentiated), are quite adequate situation. In an interview with the German Radio Association (RND), she said that "no one is interested in extending the restrictions any longer than is necessary to preserve the life and health of people."
According to the latest data published by the Zeit newspaper, the federal government is discussing the extension of restrictions on social contacts until May 3. In this regard, the newspaper cites the opinion of one of the leading figures of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), who asks the rhetorical question: “Why do we need life if we are deprived of the opportunity to live?” Zeit does not name this politician, referring to his tweet. To this the newspaper quotes another politician of the FDP Katie Suding: “What is the value of freedom if we all die as a result?”
Restriction from the German authorities
However, it should be said that the German authorities in their prohibitions and restrictions rely on a special law on infection protection (Infektionsschutzgesetzt). It entered into force at the beginning of 2001 and allows the government to limit the fundamental rights of citizens, which are guaranteed by the Constitution. The law lists cases where it is allowed to be used, and pandemics are among those.
This discussion is a testament to the problems that even experienced politicians face due to limitations. Indeed, as the newspaper points out, now the rights of citizens on Germany are experiencing the most severe restrictions since the end of World War II. They relate to the right to freedom of movement, assembly, religion, the inviolability of the home, work and property.
From the point of view of the famous German sociologist Wilheim Heitmeyer, the main problem in the event of limitation of constitutional rights is the period of their application. In this regard, the government is always tempted to extend them. But the sociologist does not give prescriptions against this, since the government always has the ability to interpret the law as it sees fit.