• Ana Čović Institute of Comparative Law
  • Oliver Nikolić


COVID - 19, freedom of movement, human rights, state of emergency, case law, Constitutional Court , European Court of Human Rights.


We have entered the second year of a global pandemic in the world, which has resulted in the adoption of various measures that limited certain human rights, especially freedom of movement. This limitation was felt by everyone - employees, children, and especially people older than 65. It therefore seems necessary to try to answer the question of where the limits of restrictions on human rights and freedom of movement are during a pandemic, what are the differences in restrictions imposed by some states, and what is the content of court decisions in situations where this issue is a subject to court proceedings. Also, the paper will analyze the latest judgment of the European Court of Human Rights regarding the protection of freedom of movement during the pandemic in the case of Terheş v. Romania.


1. Burrowes, R. (2020, April 13). The Elite's COVID 19 Coup Against a Terrified Humanity: Resisting Powerfully, Global Research. Available at covid-19-coup-against-terrified-humanity-resisting-powerfully/5709479
2. Court of Justice of the European Union. Research and Documentation Directorate. (2021). Covid 19 - Overview of Decisions in the period April - September. Available at http://
3. Čović, A. The Right to Privacy and Protection of Personal Data in the Age of the Covid – 19 Pandemic. Sociological Review. Vol. LIV, no. 3/2020, 670 - 697. DOI: 10.5937/ socpreg54-27284
4. Dias Simões, F. (2021). COVID-19 and International Freedom of Movement: a Stranded Human Right? The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2021-07, Available at SSRN: or 10.2139/ssrn.3781792
5. Diaz Creo, M. & Kotanidis, S. (2020). States of Emergency in Response to the Coronavirus Crisis. EPRS - European Parliamentary Research Service. Available at
6. Greene, A. (2021, Jun 18). Falling at the First Hurdle? Terheş v Romania: Lockdowns and
Normalising the Exception. Available at
7. Hamadou, A. (2020). Free Movement of Persons in West Africa Under the Strain of COVID-19. AJIL Unbound. Volume 114, 337 - 341. DOI:
8. Mezzadra, S, Stierl, M. (2020). What Happens to Freedom of Movement During a
Pandemic? Open Democracy. Available at
9. Pécoud, A. (2013). Freedom of Movement. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration (ed. Ness I.). Blackwell Publishing Ltd. DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm241
10. Pimenta D M, E. (2020). Brief Reflections on Covid-19, Tyranny and the End of Freedom. Available at Brief_Reflections_on_Covid_19_Tyranny_and_the_end_of_Freedom
11. United Nations. COVID – 19 and Human Rights – We are all in this together. (2020). Available at files/un_-_human_rights_and_covid_april_2020.pdf
12. Valerio. C. (2020). Human Rights and Covid-19 Pandemic. JBRA Assisted Reproduction. 24(3): 379–381. DOI: 10.5935/1518-0557.20200041
1. Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Available at legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A12012P%2FTXT
2. Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, (Official Gazette of RS, no 98/2006).
3. Criminal Code, Official Gazette of RS, no. 85/2005, 88/2005 - corrected, 107/2005, 72/2009,
111/2009, 121/2012, 104/2013, 108/2014, 94/2016 and 35/2019.
4. Decree on Emergency Measures (Official Gazette of RS, No. 31 / 2020-3 of March 16, 2020).
5. Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, (2004, 29 April). Available at
6. The European Convention on Human Rights, 1950, Council of Europe. Available at https://
7. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, the United Nations General Assembly. Available at
8. Order on Restriction and Prohibition of Movement of Persons on the Territory of the Republic of Serbia (Official Gazette of RS, No. 34/2020, 39/2020, 40/2020, 46/2020 and 50/2020).
9. Treaty on European Union. Available at uri=celex%3A12012M%2FTXT
10. Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Available at LexUriServ/
11. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). United Nations General Assembly.
1. Terheş v. Romania Aapplication (No. 49933/20). Available at wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Decision-Terhes-v.-Romania-lockdown-ordered-by-the- authorities-to-tackle-the-COVID-19-pandemic-could-not-be-equated-with-house-arrest.pdf
2. Decision on Rejecting the Initiative of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia, (2020, May 22) No. IУо-42/2020. (Official Gazette of RS, No.77/2020). Available at
3. Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia (2020, September 17). No. IУо-45/2020, (Official Gazette of RS, No. 126/2020).
4. Decision of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina of 22 April 2020, no.
AP-1217/20 (Official Gazette of BiH, No. 26/20). 7XvnB8uDg48=
5. Decision of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, No. AP-3683/20 of 22 December 2020, (Official Gazette of BIH, No. 85/2020). Available at akt/4EeZhRWYGo0=

1. BBC News. (2021, July 14) Covid: Spain’s Top Court Rules Lockdown Unconstitutional. Available at
2. Belgrade Centre for Human Rights. (2020, May 7). Restriction of Freedom of Movement of Serbian Citizens during the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic one of the Most Drastic in Europe. Available at srbije-za-vreme-pandemije-virusa-covid-19-jedno-od-najdrasticnijih-u-evropi/
3. Marinković, T. (2020, April 4). Unconstitutional Order on the Prohibition of Movement. Available at kretanja/
4. World Health Organization (2021). WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard. Available at






Social, Economic and Political Flows of Crime