ASTREE is a collective of lawyers ready to launch legal actions against CovidCheck from 15 January. Who are they and how do they intend to proceed in practice?
The ASTREE collective (Lawyers in support of the courts for the respect and equality of the law) was formed in opposition to the Covid and CovidCheck laws. It is made up of lawyers from Luxembourg and the Grand Est region in France.
The instigator of the group, Anthony Winkel, says he asked himself who is looking after the non-vaccinated at the moment?
He thus presents himself as an ally of employees who do not meet the CovidCheck requirements. He fears that some of them will have their employment contracts suspended. Others could be discriminated against when entering a business and these people need someone to defend them.
Winkel's alternative to generalised vaccination is to make the tests more affordable and accessible. For him, everything is currently set up to make it difficult for those who have not been vaccinated.
He regrets the delicate position in which employers will find themselves. Indeed, one of the consequences of the legal actions planned by the collective from 15 January is the following: either employers respect the CovidCheck and risk being sued by the group of lawyers, or they ignore the new measures and risk a fine.
In addition, the lawyer says he is ready to meet with the government to discuss compulsory vaccination, which he believes runs counter to several standards.
According to Sébastien Lanoue, a lawyer at the Luxembourg court, we are now in a situation that is becoming legally established. He fears that the law introducing the Covid-Check at work, currently effective until 28 February, will be extended.
For him, there is no doubt about it - in any case, the debate will have to be launched in the long term.
He therefore asked that the following question be examined: does the current law conflict with the Constitution and the various European standards? To this end, he would like to refer the matter to the national judge so that he can compare the various interests that might be in conflict.
The lawyer admits that the process he intends to set in motion will be technical but for him it is worth the effort.
He also believes that the new measures were introduced very hastily and that not all the issues could be studied adequately.
He said that he understood the legitimate desire for these laws to protect the health of the population, but he was concerned that other interests may have been overlooked.