By: Sara Kovač / Nova24TV
The Supreme Court has recently ruled that there was no legal basis for imposing misdemeanour sanctions for the people who did not wear masks in enclosed public spaces. Judges Branko Masleša and Primož Gorkič voted in favour of the decision, while Judge Barbara Zobec voted against it, also writing a separate dissenting opinion. Prime Minister Janez Janša also responded to the Court’s decision in a comment published on his Twitter profile.
“Incredible. In other countries of the European Union, the judiciary tried to help save people’s health and lives, it is only in Slovenia that the President of the Supreme Court, Branko Masleša, believes that he is smarter than all of the EU’s health and legal experts – probably because he was the last person to impose a death sentence in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,” Prime Minister Janez Janša responded to the Supreme Court’s decision.
Supreme Court Judge Barbara Zobec gave a separate dissenting opinion, in which she wrote that the verdict sends the wrong message to everyone – that they can just take off their protective masks and get rid of them.
Namely, the Supreme Court had to rule on the request for protection of legality against the final judgment of the District Court, by which the perpetrator was reprimanded for his misdemeanour under the Communicable Diseases Act. The Court had to assess whether, considering the fundamental principles of criminal law, the failure to wear a protective mask could be identified as a misdemeanour.
The decisive question in the assessment was whether the violation of the order to wear protective masks in enclosed public spaces could be defined as a violation of measures that “prohibit or restrict the movement of the population in infected or directly endangered areas,” under Article 39 of the Communicable Diseases Act. Since government decrees cannot be considered a regulation that determines the content of the misdemeanours, the Supreme Court sought an answer in the interpretation of the statutory provision. However, Zobec believes that there is a legal basis for having to wear masks indoors.