STA, 3 December 2020 - The Constitutional Court has established that the temporary measures banning the gathering of people at educational establishments were extended with invalid government decisions. This means there is currently no legal basis for distance learning.
The court held that the decisions taken by the government and the education minister to extend the school closure are not valid.
It says it is aware the epidemiological situation in the country might not yet allow for people gathering at schools in such great numbers and that their reopening could require certain guidelines and organisations adjustments.
It therefore decided that its decision would enter into force three days after being published today in the Official Gazette, giving the government more time to act.
The court says the three-day window should give decision-makers enough time to reconsider whether such measures are indeed based on expertise and act adequately to potentially arrange what is needed to go back to in-person learning at schools.
The court is aware that the government could again decide to keep schools closed.
But it adds that given the current situation, conditions are met for temporary injunction on a government decision to close special needs schools.
The court had in effect ruled several months ago that government decisions regarding restrictive measures cannot be open-ended, which is why it ordered it to review them periodically, which is what the government has been doing.
Now, it held that by simply extending the measures without publishing formal decisions to that effect, its decisions are invalid.
Given that this is how most existing measures are extended, this may affect all restrictions.
The court was petitioned to deliberate on school closure by legal representatives of two special needs primary school pupils.
The judges took the decision in a 7:1 vote. Voting against was Klemen Jaklič, who announced a dissenting opinion.