Rights in a time of quarantine – Law Pod UK

20 March 2020 by

Following his excellent exploration of the interface between human rights and the quarantine and movement restrictions adopted in response to Covid-19, biolaw expert Niall Coghlan kindly agreed to come on our podcast and expand on the subject. Whilst we have made every effort to get this episode on air as soon as possible, there are bound to be further laws and decrees being rolled out. References to the relevant Italian laws, the Latvian derogation and others can be found in Niall’s post of 17 March. Here are references to the most recent developments.



  • Latvia (15 March): arts 8, 11, 2P1 and 2P4.
  • Romania (17 March): no ECHR rights specified, but derogation from constitutional rights equivalent to arts 8, 11, 1P1, 2P1 and 2P4.
  • Armenia (19 March): no ECHR rights mentioned, but derogation from constitutional rights equivalent to arts 5, 11, 1P1 and 2P4.
  • Moldova (19 March): arts 11, 1P1, 2P4.
  • New derogations will be notified here.


  • No suspensions of guarantees (art.27 American Convention on Human Rights) listed. New suspensions will be notified here.


  • Guatemala (9 March): arts 12 (free movement), 21 (free assembly).
  • Latvia (16 March): arts 12, 17 (private and family life), 21.
  • New derogations will be included here.

New Italian laws restricting movement

·      Decree of 17 March requiring 14-days’ quarantine for all persons entering Italy, with a limited exception for those visiting for work reasons for 72 hours only. In force until 25 March.

·      Decree of 20 March tightening restrictions on exercise, closing parks and certain bars & cafés in transport hubs, and prohibiting movement towards a second or holiday home on the weekend and certain other days. In force until 25 March.

Movement justification forms in France

·      France (17 March).

UK law and rights analysis

  • Coronavirus Bill documents available here. (Note it was certified as compatible with the Convention rights under s.19(1) Human Rights Act 1998. ECHR analysis is as yet unpubished).
  • Joint Committee on Human Rights’ inquiry (accepting evidence until 22 July) and background paper.

Statements by human rights bodies and NGOs

  • Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights statements of 1620 March.
  • UN Experts’ statement of 16 March.
  • Fundamental Rights Agency analysis expected in Easter.
  • Human Rights Watch’s analysis of 19 March.
  • International Center for Not-for-Profit Law analysis of 10 March.

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