A man in court for not wearing a mask in Brussels: he was acquitted, the wearing of the compulsory mask deemed unconstitutional

The Brussels police court rendered a judgment on January 12, acquitting a man summoned to appear for not wearing a mask, his lawyer, Me Hélène Alexandris, said on Thursday, confirming information from Sudpresse. The judge justified his decision by the observation that the compulsory wearing of a mask in public space is unconstitutional. Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden said the prosecution had appealed the decision.

The court recalled that the two articles of law relating to public security, on which the ministerial decree of June 30, 2020, on the basis of which the contravention was established, is based, are exceptions to the principle of freedom of movement.

The judge recognized that the current health situation justifies a restriction of the freedom of movement and the imposition of certain measures. But he considered that these must be based on legal bases – yet the legislator has not legislated to authorize the restrictive measures taken by the various ministers since the start of the crisis – and that they must be compatible with the others. rights in force.

The offense is based on a ministerial decree

“More specifically as regards the wearing of a mask, it is clear that the Minister regulates different situations in an identical manner, namely cases in which people find themselves alone in the street or, on the contrary, in a commercial artery in the company of many fellow citizens. identically different situations constitute a violation of the principles of equality and non-discrimination “, established the judge.

On August 9, the offender was checked at the Anderlecht Abattoirs without wearing a mouth mask. The offense is based on the ministerial decree of June 30, 2020, which imposes on the population numerous measures drastically restricting individual freedoms, in an attempt to slow down the coronavirus epidemic.

The Minister of the Interior reacted, stressing that “the ministerial decision, which is the legal basis for the application of the corona measures, remained. The judgments rendered by the Council of State in recent months also confirm the legal bases on which the measures of the ministerial decree are based.” Ms. Verlinden also said that the prosecution had appealed against the decision rendered on January 12 by the Brussels police court.

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