Data watchdog relaxes regulatory function to prioritise guidance on complying with law during coronavirus public health emergency – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will stand down audit work, issue fewer fines and generally use fewer formal powers against organisations that are struggling to meet data protection standards as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 22nd May 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Consumer Protection in the time of Covid-19 – Henderson Chambers

‘The Competition and Market Authority (“CMA”) has set up a task force to take action against companies which it considers are breaching consumer laws in the way in which they are dealing with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic (for example, companies refusing to provide cash refunds for goods and services which have been disrupted). The CMA has robust enforcement powers such that businesses would be wise to be careful as to how they balance their commercial interests with consumer rights in these difficult times.’

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Henderson Chambers, 13th May 2020

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Freedom of contract: Does it still exist? – Littleton Chambers

Posted May 21st, 2020 in chambers articles, contracts, coronavirus, enforcement, news by sally

‘A provocative title, to be sure.

But on 7 May 2020, HM Government published through the Cabinet Office a document entitled “Guidance on responsible contractual behaviour in the performance and enforcement of contracts impacted by the Covid-19 emergency” (the “Note”).’

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Littleton Chambers, 11th May 2020

Source: littletonchambers.com

Coronavirus: 14,000 lockdown-breach fines imposed – BBC News

‘Police in England and Wales have issued more than 14,000 fines for alleged breaches of lockdown laws.’

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BBC News, 15th May 2020

Source: www.bbc.com

Simon Halliday, Jed Meers, and Joe Tomlinson: Public Attitudes on Compliance with COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘In March 2020, the government introduced a set of restrictions to ‘lockdown’ the UK in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020; The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020; The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020). These lockdown restrictions form the central plank of a wide range of government interventions, which to date include the 359-page Coronavirus Act 2020, 61 statutory instruments (emerging from 46 different parent acts), and an even greater amount of policy and guidance. The central purpose of the lockdown restrictions is to protect public health, by both containing the rate of infection and protecting NHS capacity to treat the influx of COVID-19 patients. There has been a lively legal debate about the restrictions—described as ‘almost certainly the most severe restrictions on liberty ever imposed.’ In addition to the legal debate, however, we also need a socio-legal analysis. An examination of how the public understand and experience the lockdown, and the significance of these perceptions for compliance, is essential to developing a clear picture of how the lockdown restrictions are working. Understanding the role of law in society, and not only in strict ‘legal’ terms, has rarely been so important.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 8th May 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

UK government faces legal challenge to lockdown from businessman – The Guardian

‘The government is facing a challenge to the legality of the coronavirus lockdown by a wealthy businessman who fears it will kill more people than it saves.’

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The Guardian, 1st May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Frederick Cowell: Lifting the Lockdown: The Human Rights Issues – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Coronavirus Act 2020, which was passed in less than three days by Parliament, does not contain the restrictions governing the lockdown in England. These are contained in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (the Regulations) passed under the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984. Devolved governments have pursued similar strategies in this respect. As Professor Jeff King has argued on this blog, s.45 of the 1984 Act can be ‘construed literally to confer powers to impose the lockdown’ because it allows for restrictions on ‘persons, things or premises in the event’ of a threat to public health. Like all secondary legislation, following s.3 of the Human Rights Act 1998 this needs to be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Yet, as this post sets out, some difficult rights trade-offs and restrictions may come from lifting lockdown restrictions requiring us to revaluate what we consider as normal in terms of balancing rights and liberties.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 1st May 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Making Sense of the Amended Lockdown Law – UK Human Rights Blog

‘As has been widely reported, the ‘lockdown’ imposed by the UK Government to tackle the continuing pandemic is governed in the main by the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/350) (the Original Regulations).’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 1st May 2020

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Coronavirus: More than 9,000 fines for lockdown breaches – BBC News

‘More than 9,000 fines have been issued in England and Wales for breaching coronavirus lockdown restrictions.’

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BBC News, 30th April 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

COVID 19: Revisiting Frustration in the Context of Leases – New Square Chambers

‘Sweeping and unprecedented rules, previously unimaginable, have been enacted by the Government to delay the spread of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Taken together, these changes constitute the most restrictive and draconian laws imposed in England since the Second World War. In particular, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 (‘the Regulations’) were enacted on 26 March 2020 by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock. These Regulations impose severe restrictions mandating the closure of certain types of businesses alongside prohibitions on freedom of assembly and freedom of worship.’

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New Square Chambers, 20th April 2020

Source: www.newsquarechambers.co.uk

Possessions, Covid-19 and the Decision in UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v MD – 4 King’s Bench Walk

‘The spread of the coronavirus has caused disruption to our lives and the operation of society in ways that the vast majority of us have never experienced in our lifetime. The drastic measures adopted by the Government in response to the rapid spread of the disease, including putting the country into “lockdown”, required numerous amendments to be made to existing laws; this included those concerning residential and business tenancies and, more specifically, the rules relating to the eviction of tenants. The amendments increase the protections for tenants during the crisis.’

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4 King's Bench Walk, 22nd April 2020

Source: www.4kbw.co.uk

Coronavirus Act 2020 and the powers of the government to manage individuals infected with Covid-19: How will it affect those who fall ill? (UPDATE) – 3PB

‘The Coronavirus Act 2020 (“the Act”) came into force on 25th March 2020. Among other things, the Act confers powers on public health officers, constables, and immigration officers to enable them to manage potentially infectious persons during the Covid-19 crisis. Schedule 21 of the Act contains provisions that enable the relevant officials to exercise their powers in respect of individuals in England, Wales and Scotland. This article will only focus on Part 2 of Schedule 21, which pertains to the powers of the government in England.’

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3PB, 17th April 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

The impact of Coronavirus, part 5: the Coronavirus Act 2020 – 6KBW College Hill

‘As Hippocrates remarked at the height of the Plague of Athens in 430BC, desperate times call for desperate measures. The deadly coronavirus has brought forth desperate measures almost everywhere, and the keystone of this country’s response to the crisis is the Coronavirus Act 2020. This post focusses on some key aspects of it, asking how the new offences relating to “potentially infectious” persons are defined and whether the Act as a whole is necessary.’

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6KBW College Hill, 16th April 2020

Source: blog.6kbw.com

EP 108: Renewed lockdown, new guidance: new episode – Dominic Ruck Keene & Darragh Coffey – Law Pod UK

‘Rosalind English talks to two barristers who happen to have served in the armed forces before going to the law, so they know something about emergencies and personal protective equipment. Dominic Ruck Keene and Darragh Coffey consider the probable attitude of the judiciary to any challenges regarding the government’s responsibility for preparedness, lockdown, and their their obligations under Articles 2 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as Article 11. How are we as a society, and the government, going to regard the question of “judicial activism” in this unprecedented situation in a post-pandemic UK?’

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Law Pod UK, 20th April 2020

Source: audioboom.com

COVID-19 Legislation: The uncertainty is infectious – St John’s Buildings

‘Society is experiencing the biggest Government led restriction of movement since the Second World War, instigated by The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 which came into force at 1pm on 26th March 2020.’

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St John's Buildings, 15th April 2020

Source: stjohnsbuildings.com

Is the Lockdown Lawful? An overview of the debate – UK Human Rights Blog

‘The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 were made by the Health Secretary on 26 March 2020. Understandably, given the speed with which the crisis was and still is developing, the Regulations were made using a statutory emergency procedure, meaning that they were not subject to Parliamentary scrutiny. They have yet to be challenged in the courts. In the meantime, a lively and important debate has developed about whether those regulations are lawful.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 20th April 2020

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Lessons to be Learned from the Marie Dinou Case – Pump Court Chambers

Posted April 21st, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, emergency powers, enforcement, news, police by sally

‘Marie Dinou, the woman from York convicted of a non-existent coronavirus offence after being found “loitering between platforms” at Newcastle railway station was lucky to be charged with something newsworthy. Had hers been a mundane motoring charge it is highly unlikely that anyone would have spotted that her treatment by the police and the justice system was stupid, incompetent and unlawful.’

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Pump Court Chambers, 7th April 2020

Source: www.pumpcourtchambers.com

Coronavirus Act 2020 and the powers of the government to manage individuals infected with Covid-19: How will it affect those who fall ill? (UPDATE) – 3PB

‘The Coronavirus Act 2020 (“the Act”) came into force on 25th March 2020. Among other things, the Act confers powers on public health officers, constables, and immigration officers to enable them to manage potentially infectious persons during the Covid-19 crisis. Schedule 21 of the Act contains provisions that enable the relevant officials to exercise their powers in respect of individuals in England, Wales and Scotland. This article will only focus on Part 2 of Schedule 21, which pertains to the powers of the government in England.’

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3PB, 17th April 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

Equality and discrimination in employment during the COVID-19 Pandemic – 3PB

Posted April 20th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, emergency powers, enforcement, equality, news by sally

‘Section 4 of the Equality Act 2010 (‘EqA’) defines the protected characteristics as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The current public health and economic emergency that society and business face has the potential to impact upon each protected characteristic. For example, there are reports of increased racist behaviour and commentary targeting Chinese and Italian citizens. There have also been publicised grievances around a requirement to wear protective equipment and the impact on religious dress. Such issues could be tested in the courts under the provisions of the EqA.’

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3PB, 7th April 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

Coronavirus and Civil Liberties in the UK – Blackstone Chambers

‘On 26 March 2020 the four countries of the United Kingdom became subject to regulations setting out the most severe restrictions on liberty ever imposed. Those restrictions are vitally necessary for fighting the coronavirus. This article analyses the range of legal issues that the restrictions give rise to, investigating what further refinements and reinforcement are required to ensure they are placed on a more secure legal footing.’

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Blackstone Chambers, 6th April 2020

Source: coronavirus.blackstonechambers.com