Impact | Negative
Rating CIVICUS | Obstructed
Since mid-May, El Salvador has been subject to a state of legal uncertainty that jeopardizes the protection of citizens’ rights and the control of the use of public funds to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation stems from the presidential decision to extend the quarantine without the approval of the National Assembly. On June 8, the Supreme Court declared this decision – along with 10 previous executive decrees similarly curtailing movement and issued over the past 80 days – as unconstitutional. The ruling also applies the Temporary Restriction of Concrete Constitutional Rights Law, passed in March, given that at the time it was not adequately justified why the suspension of rights was a “suitable measure” to protect the population against COVID-19. The Court called on the Executive and Legislative branches to agree on a new law in the coming days and warned that measures issued in disregard of the resulting legal framework would have no legal effect. If authorities fail to comply, the quarantine will be lifted four days after the notification of the ruling.