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Publications

Scientific and ethical basis for social-distancing interventions against COVID-19 – The Lancet

The observation that the greatest reduction in COVID-19 cases was achieved under the combined [social distancing] intervention is not surprising. However, the assessment of the additional benefit of each intervention, when implemented in combination, offers valuable insight. Since each approach individually will result in considerable societal disruption, it is important to understand the extent of intervention needed to reduce transmission and disease burden.

The effectiveness and societal impact of quarantine and social distancing will depend on the credibility of public health authorities, political leaders, and institutions. It is important that policy makers maintain the public’s trust through use of evidence-based interventions and fully transparent, fact-based communication.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30190-0/fulltext

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News

Police have no powers to enforce two-metre social distancing, says new official guidance – The Telegraph

Police have no powers to enforce two-metre social distancing in England, says new guidance for officers in England and Wales.

Officers should only enforce what is written in law which does not include the two metre rule, says the guidance issued on Wednesday by the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/13/police-have-no-powers-enforce-two-metre-social-distancing-says/

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News Opinion

Lord Sumption discusses Coronavirus lockdown on BBCR4 PM with Evan Davis

The is the worst interference with personal liberty in our history. For what is by historical standards not a very serious pandemic except for particular categories of vulnerable people who can isolate themselves voluntarily.

The problem about law is that it excludes common sense.

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News

The significant extension of the Coronavirus restriction on movement – and why it is concerning – David Allen Green

Criminalising otherwise normal social activity should have the greatest possible mandate by parliament before it has effect, not be slipped out with no parliamentary approval at all.

David Allen Green is a commentator about law and policy and a contributing editor at the Financial Times.

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News

A disproportionate interference with rights and freedoms: Coronavirus regulations and the ECHR

The lockdown measures imposed by the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations are some of the most extreme restrictions on fundamental freedoms imposed in the modern era. They are a disproportionate interference with the rights and freedoms protected by the European Convention on Human Rights and therefore unlawful.

This is an executive summary of a more in-depth article which is available from the link below. Inevitably, the summary simplifies the detailed arguments and considerations.

Read the article in full: A disproportionate interference with rights and freedoms: Coronavirus Regulations and the ECHR

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News

NHS told to expect ‘huge number’ of legal challenges after pandemic – HSJ

Specialist lawyers say legal challenges against CCGs and providers inevitable

Risks around deprivation of liberty, neglect, safeguarding, and potential gross negligence manslaughter

https://www.hsj.co.uk/coronavirus/nhs-told-to-expect-huge-number-of-legal-challenges-after-pandemic/7027448.article

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News

Posting anti-vaccine propaganda on social media could become criminal offence, Law Commissioner says – The Telegraph

Posting anti-vaccine propaganda on social media could become a criminal offence.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/02/01/posting-anti-vaccine-propaganda-social-media-could-become-criminal/

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News Opinion

Do face masks work? A note on the evidence – Dr. John Lee, The Spectator

[D]oes any of what is out there add up to a watertight case for compelling people to wear masks in public or at work (outside a healthcare setting)? The threshold for compulsion must surely be higher than ‘maybe’ and ‘perhaps’. But if it really is the case that the threshold for regulatory compulsion is being approached, it should be a simple matter for our scientific advisors to present it to us and allow time for it to be critically discussed in relation to a real-world setting, before government imposes measures upon us all.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/face-masks-should-there-be-a-cover-up-

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News Opinion

Coronavirus Lockdown and What You Are Not Being Told – Off-Guardian

The knee jerk reaction, assuming any questioning of the lockdown demonstrates a cavalier, uncaring disregard is puerile. Grown adults shouldn’t simply believe everything they are told like mindless idiots. Critical thinking and asking questions is never “bad” under any circumstances whatsoever.

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News

Germany protests lockdown

Germany is now starting to protest the lockdown. The organizer, medical lawyer Beate Bahner, was later arrested and committed to a psychiatric institution.

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News

German lawyer Beate Bahner who questioned lockdown arrested and committed to psychiatric institution

Lawyer Beate Bahner, a Medical Law specialist in Heidelberg Germany, recently filed a lawsuit against the German government’s lockdown measures. She was arrested and committed to a psychiatric institution after organizing a protest.

References:

Coronavirus lockdown: German lawyer detained for opposition – UK Column

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News

Lockdown: A Response to Professor King – Robert Craig, UK Human Rights Blog

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News

Supreme Court Judge Lord Sumption: Liberty and the rule of law are surely worth something even in the face of a pandemic – The Times

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/there-is-a-difference-between-the-law-and-official-instructions-j9tthqnrf

Categories
Opinion

Concern about powers in new UK Coronavirus laws – may include compulsory detention of children

Lawyers at the Russell Cooke law firm express concerns about new Coronavirus Regulations.

Background:

  • The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 passed 10 Feb 2020
  • Regulations were made without a draft being laid and approved by Parliament and came into effect immediately.
  • This was permitted under the claim that it was necessary due to threat to human health from COVID-19.

Regulations:

  • Allow the Secretary of State or a registered public health consultant to impose compulsory detention and isolation of people suspected of having COVID-19.
  • Allow forced testing and screening for 48 hours.
  • Power to restrict a person’s travel and other activities and to restrict a person’s contact with specified people.
  • The police are given power under to enforce the regulations where a person is not willing to be isolated voluntarily using ‘reasonable force’.
  • An isolated or detained individual will not be free to leave.
  • Refusal to comply is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £1,000.
  • There are also powers in the regulations which envisage the detention of children, which could present its own issues.

Source:

https://www.russell-cooke.co.uk/insight/briefings/2020/new-coronavirus-regulations-quarantine-measures-to-contain-the-virus/