PODGORICA, 13.10.2021 – The state of Montenegro will have to pay 500 euros with interest to J.L. from Podgorica, because her name, among others, was publicly announced on the list of people who were placed in self-isolation, at the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic.

This is the first instance verdict of the judge of the Basic Court in Podgorica, Dijana Radulovic.

Due to the fact that some citizens violated self-isolation, on March 21 last year, the Government of Montenegro published a list of all those in self-isolation, including the majority who respected that measure. The lists contained the name and surname of the person in self-isolation, as well as the residential address.
The then Prime Minister Dusko Markovic said that he understood the reasons for the criticism, but also claimed that the health of citizens was more important than human rights.

“The claim is partially accepted, so the defendant (State of Montenegro) is obliged to pay the plaintiff, based on compensation for non-pecuniary damage due to violation of personal rights – the right to protection of private life, caused by publishing data on self-isolation, the total amount of 500 euros, with statutory default interest, beginning
from 30.09.2021, as the day of judgment until the final payment”, it is stated in the judgment of the Basic Court.

By the same decision, the state is obliged to pay the costs of the litigation in the amount of 272.25 euros.

If this verdict is confirmed, the state, ie the citizens, will pay dearly for the controversial decision of the National Coordination Body from March 2020 on publishing the list of persons in self-isolation. The Constitutional Court stated in June that the decision was not in accordance with the highest legal act, after which numerous lawsuits were initiated due to the violation of the right to privacy.

The media previously published data from the competent services – that from March 15th to April 24th, 2020, 8,221 decisions on self-isolation and 1,795 decisions on placing persons in quarantine were issued. That is a total of 10,016 people.

The legal representative of  J. L., lawyer Dalibor Kavaric, said that all other cases on the same grounds were suspended until the verdict on J. L.’s lawsuit became final.
“We are waiting for the finality of this case, and then this verdict will be case law
in other cases and a benchmark for future cases. There can be deviations if someone is a public figure”, said Kavaric.