A man facing a €10,000 fine for not self-isolating while being positive for COVID-19 is contesting the legality of the decision made by the local tribunal.
The man, Nicholas Gatt, ignored a public health order by breaching COVID-19 regulations, but his lawyer argued that the €10,000 fine is unconstitutional as it should be heard by an independent criminal court instead of the local tribunal.
Gatt, who was summoned for a hearing before a Commissioner for Justice presiding over a local tribunal in June, is liable to a penalty between €100 and €10,000.
While his lawyers argued that the criminal offence must be heard by a court, their plea was rejected on 16th September and proceedings will continue next month.
Gatt’s lawyers have now filed an application against the Justice Minister, the Health Minister, the State Advocate and the Superintendent of Public Health, arguing that the maximum €10,000 fine is a considerable amount and that it is not compensation for damages.
That makes it a criminal offence to be tried before a court of law. Proceedings against Gatt should be annulled, and he should be awarded compensation for damages liquidated by the court, Gatt’s lawyers argued.
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