Comparative analysis on criminal code changes in response to covid-19 pandemic emergency case of Europe and Albania
The response of governments around the world regarding the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, is challenging in terms of human rights vulnerabilities, mainly the main rights such as right to life, the right to freedom of movement, assembly and freedom of speech, and beyond. In European countries, the above freedoms have been restricted to one degree or another due to the emergency of the situation, and even criminal sanctions have been imposed to offenders of the public action plan. The same thing has happened in Albania, even thought the situation has not been as problematic as in Europe in terms of infections and deaths. The latest amendments to the Criminal Code regarding the punishment of violators during the COVID-19 pandemic, measures include a fine but also imprisonment of up to 8 years. Civil society in Albania has widely contested these amendments as quite harsh and in violation of international human rights standards. The current study aims to present a theoretical comparative review of the legal changes that have taken place in Europe and Albania in response to the situation created by COVID-19 from the point of view of human rights violations. The selected methodology is qualitative, and the comparative method of legal analysis of European and Albanian legislation is applied in this analysis. It should be noted that emergency public measures often give good results in tackling pandemics as also seen from cases around the world, providing health care for all and preserving human dignity, but they must maintain a careful balance and not touch in any way the fundamental human rights.