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

Saturday 11 April 2020

Coronavirus Log Part 1 (December 2019 to 28 April 2020).

December 2019:

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan City, China. A novel coronavirus was identified as the cause by Chinese authorities on 7 January 2020 and was temporarily named “2019-nCoV”.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

See WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

There are questions about

Wednesday 8 April 2020

A "virtual" court

Coronavirus has had an enormous impact on the delivery of justice all across the UK and further afield. It has been possible for some court hearings to be carried out using technology such as ZOOM.

Barristers at 9 St John Street, Manchester have produced a a short film demonstrating the use of remote technology to undertake a mock fast track road traffic liability trial.

"The film has been produced using Zoom but the same exercise was also conducted using Microsoft Teams, which was considered to be just as effective. Both facilitate the screen sharing of documents, such as the trial bundle, and enable the parties to assist the Court with online tools such as Google Earth.

This mock trial is short as it is intended to be illustrative only, but

Tuesday 7 April 2020

A "virtual" Parliament

In Bobb v Manning [2006] UKPC 22, Lord Bingham said that "the conduct of government by a Prime Minister and Cabinet collectively responsible and accountable to Parliament lies at the heart of Westminster democracy."  Parliamentary accountability requires the executive to report, explain and defend its actions and protects citizens from the arbitrary exercise of executive power.

Currently Parliament is in recess until 21 April. It is not shutdown.  Prior to the recess Parliament continued sitting long enough

Thursday 2 April 2020

Coronavirus Act 2020 ~ police power ~ potentially infectious persons

Addition: 3 April 2020 - College of Policing Guidance on the Coronavirus Act 2020

Powers relating to potentially infectious persons.

Coronavirus Act 2020 Schedule 21. Part 1 of the Schedule is headed "Overview and Interpretation". Part 2 provides for "Powers relating to potentially infectious persons in England."  Parts 3, 4 and 5 provide similar powers for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland respectively.

The Schedule gives powers to public health officers, constables and immigration officers. The powers are exercisable in respect of  persons who are “potentially infectious.”

This post is a brief look at the police powers to direct or remove persons to a place suitable for screening and assessment - Part 2 paragraph 7 of the Schedule.


Part 1 of the Schedule defines various terms used in the Schedule including a definition of who is considered to be "potentially infectious." "Public Health Officer" is defined in paragraph 3(2).

Paragraph 2 of the Schedule states