Francis Hoar acts in judicial review of UK government’s Covid-19 lockdown restrictions

21 May 2020

Francis Hoar is instructed in the legal challenge against the UK Government’s Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ regulations (the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (England) Regulations). Judicial review proceedings were issued today.

The case is being brought by businessman Simon Dolan against Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education.

The judicial review application alleges that the Regulations:

  • are ultra vires the 1984 Public Health Act;
  • pose an unreasonable fetter on the government’s discretion by imposing ‘five tests’ before it may reduce the restrictions that fail to take account any factor other than the spread of the virus; and
  • are a disproportionate breach of fundamental freedoms protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.

The claimant has also applied for full disclosure of minutes of meetings held by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

The case is likely to be heard in the High Court in June.