All of the Corona fines will be declared null and void if the Constitutional Court rules that the second state of emergency was also illegal under the Constitution.
Spain’s Constitutional Court ruled last week that the initial lockdown imposed by the government on 14 March last year in response to the coronavirus pandemic was unconstitutional and therefore illegal. The country’s highest court is now reportedly considering a similar ruling on the second state of emergency, which was declared in October 2020, following the ruling issued last week.
In light of last week’s decision, approximately 1.15 million “Corona fines” issued to lockdown violators have been declared invalid, and those that have not been paid are effectively null and void as well. In addition, a flood of lawsuits against the government from individuals and businesses who suffered financial and employment losses as a result of the lockdown may now be possible, although the specifics of the situation will not be clear until the full text of the ruling is made available. Because of the magnitude of the emergency created by the first wave of coronavirus contagion, it is likely that the government will be exempt from the requirement to compensate those affected.
On the surface, the ruling appears to be that the government should have established a “state of exception” in order to deny people their right to free movement.
The concern now is that during the second state of emergency, which ran from 25th October 2020 to 9th May 2021 and on which the Constitutional Court has yet to rule, an additional 327,853 fines were imposed at a rate of 1,821 per day, resulting in a total of 327,853 fines being enacted. Because the government’s strategy made it unnecessary for Congress to provide support every two weeks, as was the case during the initial lockdown, whether or not these fines are valid now is dependent on whether or not it is determined that a second state of emergency was justified for a prolonged period of time.
Instead of the fortnightly debate, a motion passed on the 29th of October, with the support of 194 members of Congress, declared a state of emergency in effect until the 9th of May, 2021.