Supreme Court v Covid Pass Case

Re: the Legality of Passports based on Covid tests to retain access to basic Human Rights


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Facts of the Case

  • Dates: August, 2021
  • Location: Spain
  • Court: Supreme Court
  • Case #:
  • Plaintiff:
  • Defendant:
  • Trial Type:
  • Judge: Supreme Court
  • Status: Decided
  • Verdict: For the Plaintiff


So far, only five of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions – the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, Andalusia, Cantabria and Galicia – have proposed using vaccine passports to restrict access to public spaces. And all have been rejected by local judges. [1]

Spain’s Supreme Court weighs in on its legality.



Spain’s Supreme Court become the first judicial authority in Europe to rule against the use of covid passports to restrict access to public spaces — specifically hospitality businesses, such as bars, restaurants and nightclubs. [1]

It’s the first time a high court of an EU Member State has challenged the use of vaccine passports domestically. However, it is not the first Spanish court to come out against vaccine passports, but it is the most important. [1]


Plaintiff’s Argument

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Defendant’s Argument

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Relevant Prior Judgements/ Cases

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Following a caussation appeal by the Junta de Andalucía to a previous decision of the High Court of that community (TSJA), the Supreme Court considers that the presentation of this certificate in drinking establishments is an intense and extensive restriction of individual rights that needs a “substantive justification”; that is, the High Court believes that to decree this measure, it has to be justified that public health is preserved, something that does not occur in the Andalusian case. [2]

The Supreme Court of Spain has overturned the obligation to present the covid passport to enter nightlife venues. The Supreme Court considers that the presentation of this certificate in the drinking establishments is an intense and extensive restriction of the individual rights that it needs of a “substantive justification”.

In other words, the High Court believes that to order this measure, it must be justified to preserve public health, something that does not happen in the Andalusian case.

“It is not a precisely essential measure to safeguard public health in a given space where a social condition of coexistence exists, but rather a preventive measure,” argues the court.

The Supreme Court considers that this restriction could not be decreed in a general way for the entire Andalusian territory and all municipalities without considering the cumulative incidence in each locality and without connection with the health situation or with the situation of the pandemic.

“Precisely because of their severity and because they affect the entire Andalusian population,” these limitations “restrictively affect basic elements of freedom of movement and the right of assembly,” says the sentence.


…More information is needed…

Further Research

Court Documents:
  • Read the Court Ruling
In the news:
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  1. Spain’s Supreme Court rules against vaccine passports restrictions
  2. El Supremo tumba el pasaporte covid para entrar en el ocio nocturno



Andalucía, Bars, Covid, Freedom of Movement, Hospitality, Illegal, Nightclubs, Pass, Passport, Restaurants, Right of Assembly, Spain, Supreme Court

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