Council of State’s Auditor-General wants to keep the curfew

The Auditor-General of Belgium’s Council of State has asked for it to reject a request made by around a dozen people for the curfew to be revoked. The Council of State’s ruling will follow later Friday. However, it normally follows the advice given by its Auditor-General.   

On Monday the group lodged a request with the Council of State to get the curfew overturned. The member of the group say that it is unconstitutional and hope that the Council of State will quash the ministerial decree issued on 18 October that brought the curfew into force.

The lawyers and research assistant at Brussels Dutch-Medium Free University Jan de Groote and the Science Philosopher Karin Verelst are part of the group that has brought the case to the Council of State. They say that they are not against stricter measures to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus as such, but a curfew is unconstitutional. In Flanders the curfew is in force from midnight to 5am.

However, in Brussels and Wallonia it is in force from 10pm to 6am, three hours per day longer. During the curfew you are not allowed to leave your home “not even to let the dog out, smoke a cigarette or go for a walk”, Dr Verelst told VRT News.

She and the other members of the group that has brought the case say that the measure is disproportional and demand that only measures be taken that conform with the Belgian constitution.

Mr De Groote and Dr Verelst say that a ban restricting the right of assembly and the imposition of closing times is more than sufficient.

The case is being treated with the greatest of urgency and a ruling is due before the end of the day on Friday.  


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