While around 20,000 French people marched on Wednesday July 14 against the extension of the health pass and the vaccination obligation for staff in contact with vulnerable people, Maître Patrice Spinosi, lawyer at the Council of State and at the Court of Cassation , a specialist in individual freedoms, “do not see” the Council of State and the Constitutional Council, “upset the proposals that have been made by the government”. The draft law was unveiled on Wednesday and it contains several provisions, including the obligation to isolate if you test positive for Covid-19.
franceinfo: are the measures decided by the government really an attack on freedoms?
Patrice Spinosi: We are certainly facing an attack on our individual freedoms. There is no doubt. Violation of personal freedoms, the right over one’s own body to decide not to be vaccinated, potentially future violation of our freedom to come and go. Others invoke the idea of a breach of equality between the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated. That the attack is there, it is certain. But the question that will arise before the courts, whether it is the Constitutional Council or the Council of State, is: is this infringement justified? Are there sufficient and sufficiently important reasons for us collectively to suffer this attack? And that’s the question that arose throughout the time of the state of health. And this is the question that will arise for the judges when they are seized.
Is this infringement proportionate?
Despite all the measures that may have been taken during the entire time of the state of health emergency, the Council of State or Constitutional Council, when they were seized, never called into question the very principle of the choices of the government. I do not see the Council of State in its opinion nor the Constitutional Council when it will have to know this new law, upset the proposals which have been made by the government. That we have clarifications that can be made, reservations of interpretation at the margin of the devices, perhaps. That behind, there is a big decision that comes to censor the very principle of the obligation to vaccinate for caregivers and the extension of the health pass for the entire population, personally, I do not believe in it not at all.
Is compulsory vaccination for everyone a realistic measure?
I do not believe that. But above all, it must be understood that this is not the case. It is necessary to distinguish the vaccination obligation for caregivers which is a real obligation to be vaccinated, but which exists first for other vaccines. The vaccination obligation has existed for caregivers for a very long time. It has existed for children, in the same way, for quite a long time. It has been validated by the various French courts, but also by the European Court of Human Rights recently in an important decision.
This obligation must be clearly distinguished from the extension of the health pass. The extension of the health pass is not the obligation to be vaccinated and this is what seems to be fairly maintained by people who are hostile to it. It must be understood that to benefit from a health pass, either you are vaccinated or you have a negative test which can be a PCR test, but also an antigen test of less than 48 hours. And we saw today that it was still quite simple to do an antigenic test. You have a result after five minutes and from that moment you have the option of going to a restaurant or going on the train you wanted to take.