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10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/11/S02.031

LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTIONS AGAINST MANDATORY CHILDHOOD VACCINATION IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

J. Janderova, E. Jurova
Tuesday 10 April 2018 by lib_admin

References: 5th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2018, www.sgemvienna.org, SGEM2018 Vienna ART Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-30-0 / ISSN 2367-5659, 19 - 21 March, 2018, Vol. 5, Issue 1.1; 237-244 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/11/S02.031

ABSTRACT

This paper analyses legal consequences of applying conscientious objections to childhood mandatory vaccinations in the Czech Republic. There is no common European approach towards childhood vaccination and legal exemptions from statutory duty imposed by part of the states. The European Court of Human Rights considers vaccination campaigns which oblige individual to defer to general interest and not to endanger health of others where his own life is not in danger, not going beyond the margin of appreciation left to the state by Art. 8 (2) of the European Convention on Human Rights. Still, the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic found in its recent case law conscientious objections to be under certain circumstances a good reason for refraining from punishing parents waiving compulsory vaccination of their children for committing administrative delict. This paper focuses not only on the test the Constitutional Court chose to apply to distinguish between cases of sincere objections and mere free-riders, but also on broader reasons of liberal state tradition that led the Constitutional Court to allow for such exemptions. In addition, nature of statutory condition of due vaccination for accepting a child for preschool education is analyzed. The paper argues that it is not a sanction and finds a parallel with exemptions from compulsory military service conditioned by serving an alternative service contributing to public good.

Keywords: legal exemptions, childhood vaccination, administrative delict, conscientious objections, Constitutional Court


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