Hig­her Admi­nis­tra­ti­ve Court of Berlin-Brandenburg: peti­ti­on for a tem­po­ra­ry injunc­tion against an order pro­hi­bi­ting gathe­rings becau­se of Cod-19 denied

Facts of the case

A Pots­dam citi­zen peti­tio­ned the Hig­her Admi­nis­tra­ti­ve Court of Berlin-Brandenburg to order a par­ti­al stay of enforce­ment for the Sta­te of Brandenburg’s Covid-19 Con­tain­ment Ordi­nan­ce of 22 March 2020. Spe­ci­fi­cal­ly, the citi­zen objec­ted to § 1(1) and § 11 of the Ordi­nan­ce. § 1(1) of the Ordi­nan­ce pro­hi­bits public and non-public events, con­ven­ti­ons and other gathe­rings, while § 11 of the Ordi­nan­ce defi­nes addi­tio­nal rules for occu­p­an­cy of public space. The peti­tio­ner argues that the­se rules of con­duct inf­rin­ge upon his free­dom of movement.

Con­tent of the decision

The Hig­her Admi­nis­tra­ti­ve Court of Berlin-Brandenburg dis­missed the peti­ti­on.

The court ruled that the pro­hi­bi­ti­on of “other gathe­rings” and the rules for occu­p­an­cy of public space do not affect the petitioner’s free­dom of movement.

It noted that the pro­vi­si­ons chal­len­ged by the peti­tio­ner have an ade­qua­te legal basis in the Pro­tec­tion against Infec­tion Act. Fur­ther­mo­re, in light of expe­ri­en­ces with the novel coro­na­vi­rus, the pro­tec­ti­ve mea­su­res orde­red under the Ordi­nan­ce are sui­ta­ble and fair, in the view of the Hig­her Admi­nis­tra­ti­ve Court of Berlin-Brandenburg, and do not exceed the dis­cre­ti­on given to the issuer of the Ordi­nan­ce. The court also noted that it is not evi­dent that the pro­vi­si­ons ques­tio­ned by the peti­tio­ner go any fur­ther than the mea­su­res which were agreed upon on 22 March 2020 in a bin­ding agree­ment bet­ween the Fede­ral Chan­cell­or and the heads of govern­ment of the indi­vi­du­al Fede­ral States.


The most important thing at pre­sent is to pro­tect our­sel­ves and our fel­low citi­zens from infec­tion. As a result, ordi­nan­ces which are imple­men­ted based on recom­men­da­ti­ons from the Chan­cell­or and the Sta­te govern­ments will typi­cal­ly take pre­ce­dence over pri­va­te inte­rests in kee­ping stores open, cele­bra­ting bir­th­days and eating at restau­rants. The­se ordi­nan­ces have been issued in order to coun­ter­act the unche­cked spread of the Covid-19 virus so that the virus can be con­tai­ned in a few weeks or months, and so that the eco­no­my can flou­rish once again.


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