Judgment concerning Switzerland

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27/11/23

The Court declared the application in the case of Communauté genevoise d’action syndicale (CGAS) v. Switzerland inadmissible.

The case concerned an association which complains of being deprived of the right to organise and participate in public events following the adoption of government measures to tackle COVID-19 under Ordinance O.2 COVID-19, enacted by the Swiss Federal Council on 13 March 2020. On the basis of that ordinance, public and private events were prohibited with effect from 16 March 2020. Failure to comply with the prohibition was punishable by a custodial sentence or a fine.

The Court found that the applicant association had failed to take appropriate steps to enable the national courts to fulfil their fundamental role in the Convention protection system and it stated that an application for a preliminary ruling on constitutionality, lodged in the context of an ordinary appeal against a decision implementing federal ordinances, was a remedy which was directly accessible to litigants and made it possible, where appropriate, to have the impugned provision declared unconstitutional. There had been no particular circumstance which would have released the applicant association from the obligation to exhaust the above remedy.

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