COVID: when rights collide

COVID: when rights collide


It is often said that in recent years we have witnessed a judicialization of democratic societies.

That it is no longer the politicians elected by the people who govern, but judges, courts. The situation will not change tomorrow.


The more rights there are in a society (animal rights, nature rights, soon tree rights and, why not, the rights of robots or virtual avatars), the more these rights are likely to collide. And the more judges, legal experts and constitutional experts are needed to settle the conflicts and disputes caused – precisely – by this almost exponential proliferation of rights. Look at Bill 21, Bill 96 and the fight against the pandemic.  

These three files raise fundamental and extremely complex questions about the scope – and limits – of the various rights . How far can a minority go to protect their rights?

Doesn't the majority have a duty to protect the rights of minorities?

When can freedom of religion be considered a threat to the fundamental rights of the majority? To the freedom of conscience of children? To women's rights? Can a society restrict individual rights to protect itself? If so, in which cases? For how long?

At what stage can it be judged that my freedom endangers the freedom of others? Can an adult individual (and not vaccinated) be forced to take medication or inject a substance into their veins against their will?


This is why sensitivities are so exacerbated these days, so raw. 

We are witnessing a head-on collision between individual rights and collective rights. Like two cars crashing into it at top speed. 

On the one hand, the antivax who take up the slogan of pro-choice activists: “My body belongs to me, I do what I want with it.  

On the other, pro-vaccines who argue that the freedom of antivaxers to do what they want with their bodies directly threatens their equally basic right to live healthy and safe lives. . 

These are not only two incompatible visions, but each group tries to impose its vision on the other. No wonder it “chires”! And since the situation is urgent, we do not have time to settle each individual case before the courts. So it's the government that decides. Based – he says – on public health considerations, not legal ones. In short, we put science – and politics – before the law.

However, we have only had the word “law” in our mouths for decades!

< p>I have the right, I have the right!

And suddenly, the law (which has been set up as the supreme arbiter of life in society) would no longer have… the right to cited ? Should judges and magistrates obediently hand over their crown and power to politicians and scientists?

No wonder it squeaks…

Not easy to ask people to put in nightlight their individual rights when it's been eighty years since you set them up as a true religion!

 COVID: when rights collide

Share Button