Francis Hoar is appearing in the High Court today to challenge government’s legal restrictions on weddings

15 October 2020

Francis Hoar is appearing in the High Court today on behalf of UK businessman Simon Dolan and co-claimant Cripps Barn Group Limited, a wedding venue business. The 2 claimants are applying for an interim injunction to prevent the enforcement of government rules restricting wedding/wedding reception attendees to 15.

They are also seeking permission for a judicial review of the measures to limit attendees at weddings and wedding receptions. The Secretary of State is represented by Sir James Eadie QC, First Treasury Counsel.

The judicial review application alleges the government misused legislation to enable it to bring in the new regulations without proper scrutiny by parliament. (The government introduced the new measures through the Public Health (Control of Infectious Disease) Act 1984 by certifying the legislation as ‘urgent’. That loophole allows ministers to make the laws effective immediately without prior approval in parliament).

The application also claims that:

  • the measures are disproportionate to the risk to public health from COVID-19, and
  • the contradictory and confusing laws are destroying the hospitality industry.

Additionally, Francis is representing Mr Dolan (in that case led by Philip Havers QC) in his appeal concerning his earlier judicial review claim relating to the original lockdown legislation. That case will be heard by the Court of Appeal on 29-30 October.