Parliamentary inviolability and COVID-19
The article is devoted to the relationship between the institution of parliamentary inviolability and certain measures used to prevent or combat infectious diseases, including COVID- 19. Article 105 sec. 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland prohibits deprivation or restriction of freedom of a member of parliament without the consent of the competent chamber, except his apprehension in the act of committing a crime and if a detention is necessary to ensure the proper course of the proceedings. At the same time, anti-epidemic regulations relating, inter alia, to COVID-19, provides for the possibility to apply measures such as quarantine, home isolation or forced hospitalization that appear to conflict with constitutional regulation of parliamentary inviolability. Furthermore, the law foresees a possibility to apply direct coercion to people resisting the application of such measures. The authors, relying on the concept of assessing the value of legally protected goods, developed by Constitutional Tribunal, conclude that, despite the lack of an explicit constitutional regulation in this regard, it is possible to apply anti-epidemic regulations to members of the Polish parliament. In this case, values such as human life and health prevail over the legal good protected by the institution of parliamentary inviolability.