Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Crossing the Channel ~ some notes

"Since earliest times, humanity has been on the move. Some people move in search of new economic opportunities and horizons. Others move to escape armed conflict, poverty, food insecurity, persecution, terrorism, or human rights violations and abuses. Still others do so in response to the adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters (some of which may be linked to climate change), or other environmental factors. Many move, indeed, for a combination of these reasons" - New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.

Approximately 4000 individuals - mostly young males - have crossed the English Channel this year from France to the UK and, on 11 August, it was reported that the UK and France were working 'at pace' on a plan to halt such crossings - The Guardian 11 August 2020.

This is not a new issue. In November

Sunday, 9 August 2020

PC Harper ~ manslaughter ~ sentencing, undue leniency, retrials, young adults

Full maturity and all the attributes of adulthood are not magically conferred on young people on their 18th birthdays - Lord  Burnett CJ - Clarke, Andrews and Thompson [2018] EWCA Crime 185

On 15 August 2019, three irresponsible young men - Henry Long, Albert Bowers, Jessie Cole - stole a quad bike. It was a planned theft and something they did frequently. The quad bike was towed away from its owner's property. When confronted by the Police they implemented their escape plan.  This required them to disconnect the tow loop from the quad bike and to drive away at speed as soon as all of them were in the car. As they drove away, PC Harper was caught up by the loop which was still attached to the car. He was dragged at high speed over a considerable distance and killed as a result.

The three were charged with murder. A first trial

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Be concerned: be very concerned ~ a review of Judicial Review

The 1986 David Cronenberg film "The Fly" contained the line - "Be afraid: be very afraid."  A scientist was working on "teleportation" and started to turn into an insect. He pleaded with one of the characters, "Don't be afraid." The reply was, "Be afraid: be very afraid."

Panel on judicial review:

Last week I wrote about the emergence of government plans regarding the 2019 manifesto commitment to set up a Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission within the first year of a Conservative government. Although it is not yet fully clear, the

Friday, 31 July 2020

Coronavirus - restrictions imposed in parts of the North of England

Updated - 31 July (1750 hrs) and 4 August (1530 hrs) and 8 August (0730 hrs):

The government has issued information about new rules on social gatherings to be effective from 31 July in certain parts of the north of England - New Rules on gatherings in some parts of Northern England.

This states that - "The government will sign new regulations to make these changes legally enforceable."

Further information is set out by the government at - What you can and cannot do

This webpage begins - "An outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, and West Yorkshire. The government and relevant local authorities are acting together to

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Unfitness to Plead

Under present-day law, if a question is raised in the Crown Court as to whether a defendant (D) is unfit to plead then the question will be decided by the judge. If the decision is that D is unfit to plead then a jury can be asked to determine whether D ‘did the act or made the omission charged against him as the offence” – Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 (as amended).

In R v Marcantonio [2016] EWCA Crim 14 the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) reiterated the law regarding unfitness to plead - see paragraphs 1 to 9. The court stated -

Whether an accused is fit to plead is determined

Monday, 27 July 2020

Is the proposed Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission to be replaced

Updated 31 July 2020:

Remember the proposed Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission? According to the Conservative Party's 2019 Election manifesto (discussed here) the plan was to set up the Commission within the first year of a Conservative government.

The Queen's Speech (December 2019) stated - "A Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission will be established. Work will be taken forward to repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act" - previous post 4 January 2020.

It is now reported that the idea of an overarching Commission has been abandoned by the government or, as an article in Conservative Home (23 July 2020) put it, "quietly shelved."

Only the truly naive would believe

Coronavirus Log - Part 5 (from 27 July)

This post is a continuation of the Coronavirus Log.  See Coronavirus Log Part 1 - (December 2019 to 28 April 2020) - Part 2 (29 April 2020 to 24 May 2020) - Part 3 (25 May to 21 June 2020) - Part 4 (22 June to 26 July 2020).

On-going collection of links to media articles about coronavirus and the response to the pandemic.

Office for National Statistics - Coronavirus

Public Health England

Friday, 24 July 2020

Sentencing ~ some developments

The Sentencing Council has published a new guideline for sentencing offenders with mental disorders, developmental disorders or neurological impairments. The new Guidance is effective from 1 October 2020.

Sentencing Council - 22 July 2020 and Sentencing offenders with mental disorders, developmental disorders, or neurological impairments

The following is a very brief

Thursday, 23 July 2020

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 + Other amendments

On 14 July, the government announced plans to required "face coverings" to be worn in shops and supermarkets with effect from 24 July.

The legislation finally arrived at 1.15 pm today when The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 were laid before Parliament. An Explanatory Memorandum is available.

As with other similar Regulations, the legal basis

The ISC's Russia Report ~ some notes

This previous post (17 July) looked at Parliament's Intelligence and Scrutiny Committee ('the ISC').

On 21 July the committee issued its long-awaited report on "Russia" - see the report and press release on the ISC website

The report has considerable redactions and an entire Annex is redacted but it is interesting, even if unsurprising, reading. After all,

Physical harm to a child ~ conviction quashed

On 6 December 2019 in the Crown Court at Durham (Judge Adkin and a jury) the appellant (RN) was convicted of two counts of causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child contrary to section 5 of the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004 (Counts 1 and 2). RN's appeal against conviction  has been allowed.

RN v R [2020] EWCA Crime 937 - Vice-President of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Fulford LJ, Garnham and Farbey JJ.

Section 5 (as amended from 2 July 2012 by the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims (Amendment) Act 2012) is the offence

Friday, 17 July 2020

Intelligence and Security Committee ~ Chair, Members, Russia Report

Updated 22 July 2020

ISC Chair and Membership:

Dr Julian Lewis MP (New Forest East) has been appointed Chair of Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). The committee has nine members including the former Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor Mr Chris Grayling.

The committee had to be reappointed following the General Election held on 12 December 2019. After seven months, the membership has been finalised- see Hansard House of Commons 13 July 2020 and House of Lords 14 July 2020.

It was widely reported that

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Sutherland v HM Advocate ~ Supreme Court judgment ~ Paedophile Hunters

The Supreme Court has handed down judgment in Sutherland v Her Majesty's Advocate [2020] UKSC 32.

The legal issue was whether prosecutions based on the covert sting operations of "paedophile hunters" are compatible with the right to private life and correspondence - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

According to the court's website - "Paedophile hunters" are "self-appointed vigilantes who impersonate children in order to expose people who they consider to be sexual predators. Some of these groups

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Coronavirus: the mix of Law and Guidance

The government's response to the coronavirus pandemic has included making law and issuing guidance but what is the relationship between the two? Are they distinct so that law is that which must be obeyed and guidance is only mere recommendation? These are interesting, and far from easy-to-answer, questions.


The relevant law includes The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 (as amended) where legal restrictions are set out. These apply to

Friday, 10 July 2020

Amendment of the Coronavirus Restrictions legislation

The government has made The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/719) which amend The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/684) - (see previous post of 3 July 2020).

An Explanatory Memorandum accompanies the Amendment.

Yet again, the powers in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 are the basis for this secondary legislation.

The amending legislation will

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

The "lockdown" Regulations ~ judicial review ~ permission hearing

Simon Dolan and Lauren Monks have been refused permission for a judicial review of the "lockdown" regulations in England - (previous post 27 May).

Judgment of Mr Justice Lewis - Dolan and Monks v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Secretary of State for Education [2020] EWHC 1786 (Admin. The applicants sought permission to bring proceedings to challenge the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 as amended ("the Regulations") and what was described as a decision to close schools and educational establishments.

Lewis J noted

Friday, 3 July 2020

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force at 00.01 am on 4 July 2020. They replace the previous Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) legislation.

The No.2 Regulations are made using the powers in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. (The same powers were used to make the previous "lockdown" regulations). The Secretary of State considers that the restrictions and requirements imposed by the new Regulations are proportionate to what they seek to achieve, which is a public health response to the coronavirus threat. In accordance with section 45R of the 1984 Act the Secretary of State is of the opinion that, by reason of urgency, it is necessary to make the new regulations without a draft having been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

Leicester is in a somewhat different legal position because specific Regulations have been made for a "protected area" defined mainly by postcodes in the Leicester area (see below).

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Is the criminal trial jury under threat ?

"Our justice system is built on the principle that the law will be applied impartially. In the cases that involve the greatest harm to victims and the longest sentences for offenders, juries are the guardians of this principle. Our jury system may be centuries old, but it is still fit for purpose today" - Report by David Lammy (2017).  

I suspect that many people within the criminal justice system and elsewhere fully expected calls for removal of jury trial as a means of dealing with the backlog of criminal cases which actually developed long before coronavirus (Covid-19) arrived.

The Law Society Gazette (27 March 2020) commented- "The backlog of Crown court cases in England and Wales has reached its highest level in

Monday, 29 June 2020

EU and UK ~ Where are we now?

 The transition period will end 31 December 2020:

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and entered into a transition (or implementation) period until the end of 2020.

The Withdrawal Agreement was formally agreed on 29 January just as coronavirus was starting to emerge as a major threat to life, health and the economy.

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 gives force, within the domestic legal systems of the UK, to the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Withdrawal Agreement

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Looking back - Ruth Ellis

On 13 July 1955 the execution took place of Ruth Ellis (RE). She was the last woman to be hanged in the United Kingdom.


RE's family moved to London in 1943 when she was 17. She met a Canadian soldier at a dance and their subsequent relationship resulted in a baby boy being born. The father, a married man, returned to Canada. RE entered the world of escorting and London nightclubs. Various relationships with men took place over a number of years.

RE got a job at the 'Camera Club' where she posed in the nude so that men could photograph her. Later, she moved on to become

Monday, 22 June 2020

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Lessons from the past ~ Statues and Memorials

June 2020

Some people detest the very existence of particular statues and are prepared to protest about them, damage them or even forcibly remove them.  The recent Black Lives Matter protests have seen the words "was a racist" paint-sprayed on to the Churchill statue near Parliament - iNews 14 June. A statue to Edward Colston (1636-1721) was removed in Bristol and thrown into the harbour. It was subsequently "fished out" and taken into storage. I will return to Mr Colston later.

Others purported to be on the streets to protect particular statues. CBS News  reported on 13 June that "far right activists" had "descended on" London "claiming they were protecting statues from anti-racism activists."

Action was taken to ptotect  several prominent statues or memorials from protesters. The picture shows the cenotaph in

Monday, 15 June 2020

14 days for Mr Andrew Banks

There was considerable disorder in central London (and elsewhere) over the weekend of 13  and 14 June 2020. One man urinated just to the right of the memorial in Parliament Square to Police Constable Keith Palmer who was killed by Khalid Masood in March 2017 - see BBC News 15 June 2020 and ITV News 15 June.

The man in question was Andrew Banks (28) from Stansted, Essex. He was charged with the common law offence of outraging public decency and was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court and entered a guilty plea.

The BBC report tells us that

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Grant Shapps MP) has made The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/592. An Explanatory Memorandum is available.

The legal basis for the Regulations is the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. The "emergency procedure" in section 45R has been used, yet again, to make these Regulations which were laid before Parliament on Sunday 14 June and come into force on 15 June. The Regulations apply to England.

Regulation 1 (Citation, commencement and application) states

"Linked households" - or "bubbles"

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
From 4 July 2020 the Regulations referred to in this post are replaced by new Regulations - see here. This post has been retained for record purposes.

Regulation 6 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)(England) Regulations 2020 (as amended) states:

6.—(1) No person may, without reasonable excuse, stay overnight at any place other than the place where they are living or where their linked household is living.

Regulation 6(1) prohibits persons staying overnight other than at home or in a linked household or if one of the other exceptions in Regulation 6 applies.  (The list in Regulation 6 is non-exhaustive).

Regulation 7 of

Friday, 12 June 2020

Coronavirus Restrictions legislation ~ further amendments

From 4 July 2020 the Regulations referred to in this post are replaced by new Regulations - see here. This post has been retained for record purposes.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 have been amended for the fourth time. The amending legislation is The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 -SI 2020/588. This was, yet again, made using the "emergency procedure" in section 45R of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

An Explanatory Memorandum is available. This states - "This instrument makes a number of changes to the Restrictions Regulations to enable and support gradual relaxation of restriction measures whilst amending, but crucially, keeping in place public health measures to continue to reduce public health risks posed by the incidence and spread SARS-CoV-2. The relaxations will facilitate the country's economic recovery by opening non-essential retail premises. The relaxations will also enable certain important aspects of public and private life to continue in a controlled manner."

The amendments are a further easing of the "lockdown" in a number of areas - e.g. relating to certain businesses or activities and there is

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Quarantine Regulations ~ an overview

Update - From 10 July the law has been amended by The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Public Health Information) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/691 and see Explanatory Memorandum.

The amendments exempt people from the requirement to self-isolate where, during the 14 days preceding their arrival in England, they have only been in “exempt countries or territories”. Such countries and territories have been added to a list in the new Schedule 1A where the public health risk has been deemed sufficiently low. The list in Schedule 1A will be subject to on-going review and further countries will be added or removed informed by their risk status when it is appropriate and proportionate to do so.

Original Post:

Commencing on Monday 8 June, "quarantine" is to be imposed on international travellers arriving in England.

The relevant legislation is The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/568 and see the Explanatory Memorandum

The quarantine regulations should be read in conjunction with The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Passengers Travelling to England) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/567and see the Explanatory Memorandum

These "quarantine regulations" are in force from 8 June 2020 and apply to England only. They must be reviewed by the Minister every

Ministers and their law-making powers for public health

Part 2A of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 ("the 1984 Act") contains extensive powers enabling Ministers to make public health regulations. The powers are exercisable by statutory instrument to which the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 applies.

As part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic, a  number of statutory instruments have been made using the 1984 Act powers. In most instances, this subordinate legislation has been made without any prior parliamentary scrutiny.

This post considers briefly the regulation-making powers for health protection as they have been used for England. I other parts of the UK, similar powers have been used to make regulations.

This may seem to be

Friday, 5 June 2020


From 8 June, "Quarantine" is to be imposed on indivduals arriving in ENGLAND. Two Statutory Instruments have been made to implement this.

The Health Protection (Coronanvirus, International Travel) (England) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/568 and see the Explanatory Memorandum

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Passengers Travelling to England) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/567and see the Explanatory Memorandum

Both sets of Regulations come into legal force on 8 June and will expire after 12 months (unless revoked earlier).

The purpose

Thursday, 4 June 2020

The latest "lockdown" regulations and the individual's home

From 4 July 2020 the Regulations referred to in this post are replaced by new Regulations - see here. This post has been retained for record purposes.
My previous post looked at the latest "lockdown" regulations which came into force on 1 June 2020. Here is a link to the up to date version  of the legislation.

Whether the public realise it or not, the latest legislation has the potential for serious impact on what individuals may do within the privacy of their homes. Here is a closer look ....

New Regulation 6 (Restrictions on Movement):

An entirely new Regulation 6 replaced the earlier version.  

"No person may,

Monday, 1 June 2020

Amended "lockdown" Regulations ~ in force 1 June 2020

'Lockdown' - Bournemouth 31 May
From 4 July 2020 the Regulations referred to in this post are replaced by new Regulations - see here. This post has been retained for record purposes.
On 12 June 2020 a further amendment was issued to the Regulations. This post is retained for historical purposes.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Regulations) 2020 - (the "lockdown" Regulations) - have been amended for the third time. The latest amendment is in force from 1 June 2020. The government again used the regulation-making power in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 (as amended).

The amended Regulations reflect the government's view that it is safe to ease the restrictions further. This view is not universally held - for example, see BBC News 30 May and Financial Times 30 May 2020. Concern also exists because of the numbers of people who went to beaches and beauty spots - (see picture of Bournemouth beach).

The lockdown Regulations are different across the four nations of the UK. Links to the legislation are set out at the end of this post.

Under the amended English Regulations, the "emergency period" is still in force. There is an entirely  new Regulation 6 (Restrictions on Movement) and Regulation 7 (Restrictions on Gatherings). Schedule 2 (Businesses subject to Restrictions or Closure) is amended.

Throughout the pandemic the government has issued guidance on COVID-19. The guidance is updated as the government considers necessary and it is advisable to check for the updates.

NHS Information and advice about coronavirus is available at NHS.UK/Coronavirus

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Legal challenge to the "lockdown" regulations

Businessman Mr Simon Dolan has issued proceedings for a judicial review of the "lockdown" regulations in England. Separate regulations apply to Wales, Scotland and to Northern Ireland.

Details of the review may be seen at Crowdjustice

The claimant argues that - the Regulations are "... of the most far reaching kind and impact directly on every person resident in England.  They impose extraordinary restrictions that are subject to minimal Parliamentary scrutiny and it is of the highest public interest that the Court is able to determine whether they were imposed lawfully ..."

The government argues that the Regulations

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

A look at the Cummings story - 2

Barnard Castle
Post updated 28 May 2020

This previous post looked at the Dominic Cummings situation on the basis of what was in the public domain on the morning of 25 May.  The post looked at the law and the guidance as they stood in late March and early April when Mr Cummings, together with his wife and son, travelled from their London home to his father's farm in County Durham.

The question in law was whether, at the time he left the London home, Mr Cummings had a reasonable excuse to do so.

The guidance required people to stay at home if anyone in the household had symptoms of coronavirus but, if living with children, the guidance added that they had to do their best to follow the guidance.

Statement 25 May:

On the afternoon of 25 May, at the request of the Prime Minister, Mr Cummings

Monday, 25 May 2020

A look at the Cummings story - 1

Dominic Cummings is described by Wikipedia as a British political strategist who was appointed a senior adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July 2019.

From 2007 to 2014, he was a Special Adviser to Michael Gove MP including the time that Gove served as Secretary of State for Education.

From 2015 to 2016, Cummings was Director of

Coronavirus Log Part 3 - (from 25 May)

This post is a continuation of the Coronavirus Log.  See Coronavirus Log Part 1 - (December 2019 to 28 April 2020) and Part 2 (29 April 2020 to 24 May 2020).

No 10 Downing Street data for 24 May showed 36,793 deaths from coronavirus confiemd with a positive test. The data slide notes - "Weekly registered deaths from the Office for National Statistics include cases where COVID-19 is mentioned on the death certificate but was not confirmed with a test. On 8th May, ONS reported 41,020 cumulative registered deaths from COVID-19. This was 9,779 more than the DHSC figure for the same date."

Saturday, 23 May 2020

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 was not used. Why?

Some States have provisions in their national law for declaring emergencies. See, for example, the Declaration by the President Trump of the USA of 13 March 2020.  Such declarations of emergency can trigger special powers such as powers to maintain public order and safety, to requisition and take possession of property, limit traffic and transport, place restrictions on financial transactions etc. The exact impact of such declarations of emergency varies from nation to nation.  The UK relies on existing legal powers (mostly in legislation) but will, if necessary, enact specific legislation to cope with a serious event. The UK's Civil Contingencies Act 2004 is a major piece of legislation designed for emergency events but has not been used in the coronavirus pandemic. 

Civil Contingencies Act:

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 Part 2 - (CCA) - confers

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Lord Sumption ~ the lockdown should be "entirely voluntary"

The NHS belongs to the people. It is there to improve our health and wellbeing, supporting us to keep mentally and physically well, to get better when we are ill and, when we cannot fully recover, to stay as well as we can to the end of our lives - NHS Constitution for England

The Sunday Times 17 May 2020 (£) published an article by Lord Sumption - a former Justice of the UK Supreme Court with the heading "Set us free from lockdown, ministers, and stop covering your backs."  He also gave a TV Interview - HERE - in which he advocated that the lockdown should become entirely voluntary. "It is up to us, not the State, to decide what risks we are going to take with our own bodies."

Lord Sumption's view:

Sumption states that - "The lockdown was originally

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Coronavirus: concern as restrictions partially eased in England

"Lockdown" changes:

Most European nations are relaxing coronavirus restrictions - e.g. Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal.  The exact situation varies from country to country and the success at containing the virus has varied immensely across Europe and beyond - e.g. Australia, New Zealand.

In the UK, the number of deaths from coronavirus continues to be high.  The No 10 Downing Street briefing for Friday 15 May reported total deaths at 33,998 confirmed with a positive test. The figures for Saturday 9 May stood at 31,241 - a rise of 626 in 24 hours.
Whatever the position in other

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Further amendments to the "Lockdown" Regulations for England

NOTE: From 1 June 2020 further amendments have been made. This post is retained for historical purposes.

12th May - The The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/350- have been amended for the second time.

The first amendment - (discussed in this previous post) - was The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/447 - and came into force on 22 April 2020.

The second amendment is the The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/500 - and came into force on 13 May 2020

The emergency procedure

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Coronavirus ~ international lessons?


The People's Republic of China (PRC) is a nation of some 1.4 billion people. Governed by a communist regime, it has enormous economic and military strength and is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. As noted by Chatham House (October 2019) the People’s Republic of China represents, for the UK, a mutually beneficial source of economic and trade potential in a post-Brexit world. London and Beijing already have a well-established relationship in areas such as finance, telecommunications and higher education. In January 2020, the British government controversially awarded Huawei a limited stake in the UK's 5G development but, in the light of coronavirus, the government has drawn up plans to reduce the Chinese company’s involvement to zero by 2023 - The Guardian 22 May.

Coronavirus - uncertainty regarding its origin:

In late 2019, coronavirus

Friday, 1 May 2020

Gordon Park (deceased) v R - The Lady in the Lake case

Coniston Water
The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) - Dame Victoria Sharp P, Sweeney and May JJ - has given a detailed and lengthy judgment in the Gordon Park (Lady in the Lake) case - Gordon Park (Deceased) v R [2020] EWCA Crim 589. The case was discussed in this previous post 27 October 2018.

Basic background:

As reported by The Guardian 1 May 2020, Carol Park, a teacher, went missing in Leece, near Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in July 1976, and Park claimed she had gone to live with another man. Amateur divers found her body in Coniston Water in 1997.

Gordon Park was arrested and charged with her murder, and spent two weeks in prison on remand, but the case against him was dropped in 1998 on the grounds there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

Detectives later uncovered fresh forensic and geological evidence said to link him to the crime and he was found guilty at Manchester crown court in 2005. 

The court of appeal dismissed

Thursday, 30 April 2020

PPE ~ Chief Coroner's Guidance No.37

In this previous post (Friday 24 April) it was noted that the Coronavirus Act 2020 s. 30 enabled Coroners to hold inquests without a jury in cases where the Coroner has reason to suspect that the death was caused by COVID-19.

In practice, inquests will not be required for the majority of deaths arising from COVID-19. The situations in which a Coroner must be informed of a death are set out in The Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019 and Regulation 3(1)(a)(ix) requires a medical practitioner to notify the Coroner where the practitioner suspects that the death was due to an an injury or disease attributable to any employment held during the person’s lifetime.

It follows that

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Coronavirus Log Part 2 - (from 29 April)

This post is a continuation of the Coronavirus Log.  See Coronavirus Log Part 1 - (December 2019 to 28 April 2020).

29 April - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 21,678 (not including care homes and in the community)

ONS information up to 17 April -  Up to 17 April, there were 19,112 deaths registered in England and Wales involving COVID-19 (11,405 men and 7,707 women). The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (16,690 out of 19,112), with 41% (6,899) of these occurring in the over-85 age group.

High Consequence Infectious Diseases:

On 22 October 2018 the UK government published

Friday, 24 April 2020

The impact of coronavirus on courts and legal matters

Supreme Court:

In July 2019 it was announced by the Prime Minister's Office that Lord Reed would take up the position of President on 11 January 2020. Thereafter, Lord Justice Hamblen, Lord Justice Leggatt and Professor Andrew Burrows would join the Supreme Court as justices on 13 January, 21 April and 2 June 2020 respectively. The swearing in of Lord Justice Leggatt duly took place on 21 April 2020 but, because of coronavirus, the ceremony was held in the court's library.

Arrangements for the continuation of the court's business were announced on 30 March.

Judiciary and courts:

A library worth of guidance for

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Very important - Coronavirus "Lockdown" regulations amended from 11 am

UPDATE 13 May - additional Regulations came into force on 13 May. This post is retained on the blog as part of the history.

Amendment to Regulations:

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 - (discussed in this previous post) - have been amended by The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020

The amendments apply from 1100 hrs on 22 April and apply to England. The following is from the Explanatory Memorandum:

The instrument makes a number of changes to the Restrictions Regulations to clarify and better enable the public health measures in those Regulations to

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Foreign Affairs Committee ~ 21 April 2020

The provision of equipment to personnel involved in the treatment of coronavirus patients has become a key issue in the government's response to the pandemic. Equipment (e.g. ventilators) is required for the treatment of patients in Intensive Care Units. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed for medical staff and others involved in the care of patients.

The European Commission has published information about procurement of  Personal protective equipment – masks, gloves, goggles, face-shields, and overalls – as well as medical ventilators and testing kits

Parliament - Joint Human Rights Committee 20 April 2020

Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights met during the afternoon of Monday 20 April. The session took place "online" and the key witness was Mr Robert Buckland MP - Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice.

The session -lasting about 3 hours - may be viewed at or, for a limited period, at BBC iPlayer.

The impact of coronavirus on the prison population (BBC News) and also on  jury trial in the Crown Court were discussed (Law Society Gazette) as well as civil liberty issues

Friday, 17 April 2020

Policing during the Coronavirus pandemic

In common with many nations, the UK is currently enduring a "lockdown" imposed by law on businesses, the freedom of movement of individuals, and "gatherings"  in a public place of more than two people. The relevant law is in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 - (considered in this previous post).

On Thursday 16 April the government announced that the "lockdown" due to the coronavirus pandemic would continue for at least a further three weeks - The Guardian 16 April.  The announcement was made by Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab*

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Handling of coronavirus ~ "high hurdles" to legal actions

On 23 March, Scottish Legal News (SLN) published an item  with the headline - Legal action against UK government over handling of coronavirus pandemic faces 'high hurdles'

The same article was reported by Irish Legal News.

The article states - "The UK government’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic should be investigated after the emergency has abated but any legal action brought against it will face “high hurdles”, lawyers have told Scottish Legal News.

Boris Johnson’s government is widely believed