If ministers fail to reveal 2016 flu study they ‘will face court’ – The Guardian

‘The government faces being taken to court if it refuses to disclose the findings of an exercise confirming the UK could not cope with a flu pandemic.’

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The Guardian, 26th April 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

COVID-19 and Immigration Bail Applications – One Pump Court

‘Whilst the current pandemic has affected us all, those in detention are impacted in particularly harmful ways. Visits to immigration removal centres have been suspended, and those with COVID-19 symptoms are effectively placed in solitary confinement. The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights has called for immigration detainees to be released, as many States have had to suspend removals and it is unclear when these might be resumed. The primary goal of immigration detention is to effect removal, and so continued detention as such may seem arbitrary.’

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One Pump Court, 21st April 2020

Source: onepumpcourt.co.uk

Do business tenants prevented from trading have a remedy under the Human Rights Act 1998? – Falcon Chambers

‘On 20 April 2020, the Hospitality Union wrote a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking for a “National Time Out” under which there would be a nine-month national payment pause granted to business tenants. This would be “a crucial period of payment postponement when commercial rents, and the debt and interest payments secured on those premises, are pushed to the back end of leases and term loans.”’

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Falcon Chambers, 23rd April 2020

Source: www.falcon-chambers.com

COVID-19 and Prisons: The Coronavirus Restricted Temporary Release Scheme, Pregnant Prisoners and Children in Custody – One Pump Court

‘COVID-19 is a dangerous reality for prisoners. As of 18 April 2020, confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in over half of prisons in England and Wales. There have been 13 suspected COVID-19 deaths among prisoners[1]. Amongst this wider concern, those who are pregnant and children in custody may be particularly anxious during this unprecedented time.’

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One Pump Court, 21st April 2020

Source: onepumpcourt.co.uk

Judiciary sets up working party to bring back jury trials – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted April 24th, 2020 in coronavirus, courts, health, health & safety, judiciary, juries, news, trials by sally

‘The prospect of jury trials restarting has come closer with news that the judiciary has set up a working party to consider how they can be brought back as soon as it is safe to do so. The news comes shortly after lord chancellor Robert Buckland said he wanted jury trials back up and running as quickly as possible.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 24th April 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

At the front line of Covid-19 – forgotten victims? – Doughty Street Chambers

‘In a sense, we are all “victims” of the 2020-1 Coronavirus pandemic. Our lives have been changed dramatically by its effects at the domestic, community, regional, national and international levels. None of us born since WWII have experienced the restrictions of movement/activity we are experiencing as “lockdown”. There are serious wellbeing issues associated with being confined to the home for the majority of time, and no doubt those suffering domestic strain, let alone abuse, are truly “suffering”. One thinks also of those self-denying or being denied access to treatment for other health conditions because of the necessary concentration of health resources upon Covid-19 patients. All of this without considering the serious economic effects of deprivation of income for many people who really cannot afford any reduction in their already stretched incomes.’

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Doughty Street Chambers, 22nd April 2020

Source: insights.doughtystreet.co.uk

What Standard of Care Should Hospitals be Held to in the COVID-19 Outbreak? – 39 Essex Chambers

‘It is no secret that Covid-19 is placing huge strain on the NHS, with ramifications across all parts of an already stretched organisation. Hospitals nationwide have been told to prepare for a tsunami of patients demanding very high levels of care. They are having to do so while facing staff shortages and worries over the supply of essential equipment. In an effort to cope, retired doctors and not-yet-fully qualified doctors have been drafted in. In such circumstances, it is inevitable that accidents will happen and errors will be made. Once all of this is over, it is a regrettable fact that litigation will ensue. Will the law step up to protect the professionals who have done so much to save lives and ready the nation for the post-corona world? This short article argues that it can and should, most obviously by recognising that desperate circumstances should be reflected in the standard of care applied to hospitals and medical professionals working in response to Covid-19.’

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39 Essex Chambers, 22nd April 2020

Source: www.39essex.com

The UK Government’s guidance on combating coronavirus in care homes is inconsistent with WHO standards – Doughty Street Chambers

‘This paper contributes a combined human rights perspective and an infection prevention and control perspective to the COVID-19 situation in long-term care homes in the UK.’

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Doughty Street Chambers, 21st April 2020

Source: insights.doughtystreet.co.uk

The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations 2020 – Pump Court Chambers

‘Justin Gau introduces us to The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations 2020. The regulations were introduced as a response to the serious and imminent threat to public health posed by the Coronavirus. In accordance with section 45R of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, the Secretary of State was of the opinion that, by reason of urgency, it was necessary to make this statutory instrument without a draft having been laid before, and approved by each House of Parliament.’

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Pump Court Chambers, 17th April 2020

Source: www.pumpcourtchambers.com

Covid-19 testing extended to frontline court staff and judges – Law Society’s Gazette

‘HM Courts & Tribunals Service says decisions on personal protective equipment are in line with official guidance following enquiries by the Gazette about what measures are being taken to protect staff at courts being kept open during the pandemic.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 21st April 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Challenging immigration detention in the COVID-19 pandemic – Landmark Chambers

‘Perhaps the first significant issue arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic to come before the Administrative Court has been the question of the continued legality of immigration detention in the face of the risks and practical difficulties arising from the crisis. The pandemic raises two stark issues affecting the legality of immigration detention; on the one hand, that detainees may face an increased risk of infection by reason of the “congregate” setting of detention centres, and on the other that removals in the short term will be impossible and that the prospects of removal are at best uncertain even in the medium term.’

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Landmark Chambers, 15th April 2020

Source: www.landmarkchambers.co.uk

Conall Mallory: The Right to Life and Personal Protective Equipment – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Military analogies have been deployed with vigour in the early weeks of the United Kingdom’s battle against COVID-19. Initially the government told the public to ‘keep calm and carry on’. When the lockdown came, the Prime Minister ‘enlisted’ us all to slow its spread. A ‘war cabinet’ was formed and those in the health and social care sectors, who would be most regularly exposed to the virus, were referred to as being on the ‘frontline’ of the battle.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 21st April 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

European Court of Human Rights to Consider Impact of Covid-19 – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted April 21st, 2020 in coronavirus, detention, drug offences, health, human rights, imprisonment, news by sally

‘The applicant in Hafeez is a sixty-year old man with a number of health conditions, including diabetes and asthma. He was arrested pursuant to a request by the US Government for his extradition on drugs charges. He challenges the decision to extradite him, arguing that his pre-conviction and post-conviction detention conditions in the US would be inhuman and degrading; and that there is a real risk that he would be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 18th April 2020

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.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

Local authorities and health bodies handed new permitted development right to deal with COVID-19 emergency – Local Government Lawyer

Posted April 17th, 2020 in coronavirus, emergency powers, enforcement, health, local government, news by sally

‘The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has introduced a new permitted development right for local authorities and certain health service bodies in England to carry out development with a view to tackling the coronavirus emergency.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 14th April 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Coronavirus: Public reassured over lockdown policing rules – BBC News

‘Downing Street says people can buy whatever they want from shops that remain open amid concerns some police are overstepping lockdown powers.’

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BBC News, 10th April 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Lessons from a groundbreaking Skype hearing – Litigation Futures

‘As the success of remote hearings sparks discussion – with many lawyers advocating for further adoption of these options post-coronavirus – retaining an even-handed view is key. Considering what stands to be lost as well as gained, and what steps can be taken to safeguard human connection and nuance, will be crucial.’

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Litigation Futures, 14th April 2020

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

What About – ‘PPE – Does the Government owe a legal duty to provide it?’ – Nexus Chambers

‘There is no doubt that the Government owes a moral duty to provide those on the frontline fighting this virus with the tools they need to work safely. Beyond the undeniable moral duty, does the Government owe them a legal duty as well?’

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Nexus Chambers, 10th April 2020

Source: www.nexuschambers.com

The Coronavirus Act 2020: When Legislation Goes Viral (Part Two) – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted April 14th, 2020 in coronavirus, emergency powers, health, human rights, news by sally

‘In Part One, I considered the background to the Coronavirus Act 2020 and some general aspects of the legislation. Here, I focus on some of the substantive provisions of the legislation and briefly explore the role that human rights law has to play in the management of the COVID-19 crisis.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 10th April 2020

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Coronacontact- what about the children in care? – Transparency Project

‘Family life is significantly disrupted as a result of the ‘lockdown’, and many children in care will not have seen their parents for a number of weeks. This short article considers the legal position with regard to the duties of local authorities in England to looked-after children and contact, and the interaction between this and the Coronavirus Act 2020 and regulations.’

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Transparency Project, 11th April 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk