Covid-19: Belgian court declares mandatory use of vaccination passport illegal, imposes fine of EUR 5,000 per day

The judgment was handed down by the Namur Court of First Instance, in favor of the non-profit organization 'Notre bon droit' (NBD), which also operates in France and Quebec (Canada), in connection with summary proceedings challenging the use of the covid pass in the region.

Covid-19, Covid-19: Belgian court declares mandatory use of vaccination passport illegal, imposes fine of EUR 5,000 per day

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A court has ruled that the use of the so-called Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in Wallonia (Belgium) is illegal and has ordered the local government to pay a fine of €5,000 (US$5,660) per day as long as it does not stop enforcing its use.

The judgment was handed down by the Namur Court of First Instance, in favor of the non-profit organization ‘Notre bon droit’ (NBD), which also operates in France and Quebec (Canada), in connection with its summary proceedings against the use of the covid pass in the region.

“The court has ruled in our favor by admitting that the CST does not respect the principle of proportionality,” said the organization’s founder, Isabelle Duchateau, in a video announcement.

The Belgian Covid Safe Ticket (CST). (Photo internet reproduction)
The Belgian Covid Safe Ticket (CST). (Photo internet reproduction)

A non-profit organization called ‘Notre bon droit’ (Our good right -NBD) initiated the procedure challenging the Wallonia region’s decree on the COVID pass.

As part of its ruling, the court said that the measure restricting freedom appears to be disproportionate to the objectives pursued. It added that the CST might also infringe European law.

The Walloon Region must now take steps to rectify the situation, pending a judgment on the benefits of the CST. One week after notification of the court’s decision, a fine of €5,000 per day is imposed on the region, which must also pay NBD’s legal costs.

The Walloon government has reacted to the court’s decision, saying that it “does not annul the decree. The CST remains applicable in Wallonia”. It added that it would appeal the decision.

According to the Belgian daily Le Soir, representatives of the Wallonia government failed to appear at a court hearing on Nov. 16 because no one dealt with the file in the public administration for five days due to a combination of a weekend and public holidays.

The invitation letter was received on Nov. 10, but the day after was Armistice Day commemorating the end of World War I, a public holiday in Belgium. The holiday fell on a Thursday and was extended to a long weekend by most officials.

The following Monday – November 15. King’s Day, which grants a holiday for the public administration. Consequently, nobody dealt with the file, and the hearing took place in the absence of the Wallonia officials.

Use of the COVID Safe Pass is mandatory all over the country when entering restaurants, gyms, and cultural venues. But officially, regional governments are responsible for imposing restrictive measures under the federal-state system.

NBD FIGHTING

For several months now, NBD has been fighting the introduction of the CST, which proves that a person has been fully vaccinated, or has recently tested negative or has recovered from the virus in the past six monthsç CST has been required for access to bars, restaurants, and gyms in Wallonia since November 1, the same day it became mandatory throughout Belgium.

The organization had previously obtained a provisional suspension of the use of CST to regulate access to the European Parliament, although this only applied to people who had objected with the General Court of the European Union.

NBD has also filed an appeal for short-term annulment of the measure with the Court of First Instance in Brussels, where a hearing will be held on December 8, 2021.

RIO DE JANEIRO HAD A SIMILIAR RULING THAT WAS OVERTURNED BY BRAZIL’S SUPREME COURT

End of September the Rio de Janeiro Court of Appeals Judge Paulo Rangel suspended also the vaccine passport in the city. The magistrate understood that a municipal decree can never “prevent the freedom of movement of anyone for not being vaccinated.” Only the measures that ban access to unvaccinated people were suspended.

“The decree remains in force regarding the other measures that do not affect freedom of movement, and any citizen is allowed to move freely through the locations mentioned in the decree irrespective of a vaccination card,” the judge said in his ruling.

Proving vaccination against Covid-19 in order to access public places has been required in Rio since September 15.

Only one day later, the Rio de Janeiro municipal Prosecutor’s Office (PGM) has filed an appeal with the Federal Supreme Court (STF) requesting the annulment of the injunction suspending the vaccine passport in the city.

Only a couple of hours later, on September 30 Brazilian Supreme Court Chief Justice Luis Fux granted the city’s appeal and vacated the restraining order on procedural grounds, thus restoring the municipal decree mandating a vaccine passport to enter certain venues.

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES CHALLENGING VACCINATION MANDATES ARE BEING IGNORED

At least 22 scientific studies demonstrate that mandates mandating or forcing Covid-19 vaccines provide no overall population health benefit and may even be harmful.

These research papers and studies raise doubts that Covid-19 vaccine mandates are supported by science and good public health practice.

Anyone, especially politicians, mayors, governors, chancellors, and presidents who are planning to implement Covid passports and/or vaccine mandates should be alerted and those seeking to challenge these mandates are invited to carefully consult these studies.

Read also: Check out our coverage on curated alternative narratives 

Given these scientific study results from around the world, legal action against already introduced vaccine mandates, and in broader terms, Covid passes, have good chances of being won, says a critic attorney association based in Germany. The most effective legal procedures are said to be class actions.

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