The Constitutional Court pronounced a ruling in which it acknowledged that the prohibition on carrying out commercial activities at large shopping centres imposed on JYSK from 7 April 2021 to 19 May 2021 unlawfully restricted the property rights of JYSK and created unjustified unequal treatment towards other merchants.
COVID-19 restrictions on trade
With the aim of reducing the spread of COVID-19, from 7 April 2021 to 19 May 2021 the Cabinet of Ministers prohibited the vast majority of commercial activities at shopping centres, including the activities of JYSK, while the same type of business was allowed at some other stores.
Although the desired goal of the Cabinet of Ministers was recognised as lawful by the Constitutional Court, the prohibition of activity at large shopping centres on the part of JYSK was considered disproportionate. JYSK had the capacity to provide a separate entrance to its stores, which would have meant no additional risks of the spread of COVID-19 would have been created, and could equally effectively have met the same health and safety requirements as those imposed on individual stores that were allowed to operate.
Result of the proceedings
It is significant that the restriction of JYSK’s fundamental rights created by the ruling of the Constitutional Court was recognised as illegal from the moment of application of the legal norm underlying it – 7 April 2021 – which will allow JYSK also to continue to fight for the actual elimination of the harm caused or to claim for compensation.
Legal assistance before the Constitutional Court
In this case, the interests of JYSK were represented by Sorainen partners Andris Tauriņš and Ieva Andersone, and senior associate Marika Grunte, as well as associates Anna Bogdanova and Linards Ābelīte.