Ellex has successfully defended the Domina shopping mall in Riga and Valleta shopping mall in Valmiera before the Latvian Constitutional Court against a claim brought by SIA Jysk Linnen’n Furniture.
According to Ellex, the case was initiated by the owners of shopping malls, SIA Eften Domina and SIA VRPB. “The applicants had applied to the Constitutional Court separately, however, the Constitutional Court decided to combine and examine the applications in one case, together with the application of the specialized retailer SIA Jysk Linnen’n Furniture having a similar claim.”
According to the firm, “both applicants requested the Constitutional Court to examine the constitutional compliance of Paragraph 24.18 (in the wording being in force from April 7 to June 1, 2021) of the Cabinet of Ministers (CM) Regulations Epidemiological Safety Measures for Limiting the Spread of Covid-19 Infection with the first sentence of Article 91 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, as well as the first and third sentences of Article 105. The first sentence of Article 91 of the constitution stipulates that all people in Latvia are equal before the law and the court, while the first and third sentences of Article 105 state that everyone has the right to property and property rights may be restricted only in accordance with the law.”
According to Ellex, “the contested regulations of the CM imposed significant trade restrictions in shopping malls with a total sales area of more than 7,000 square meters. Namely, all types of shops were prohibited in large shopping malls, except only certain shops mentioned in the regulations, which provided the opportunity to purchase basic necessities. At the same time, the contested regulations of the CM did not prohibit the operation of other, similar or larger stores outside shopping malls. Thus, the regulatory framework provided for a different treatment of merchants who operated in the same and comparable conditions according to certain criteria. The Constitutional Court found that a violation of the principle of equality enshrined in Article 91 of the Constitution had been committed and declared the contested norm of the CM regulations invalid.”
Ellex’s team was led by Senior Counsel Raivis Leimanis.