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Covid in the Courts: Challenges to Lockdown Measures in the United Kingdom

Stanford, B (2021) Covid in the Courts: Challenges to Lockdown Measures in the United Kingdom. Coventry Law Journal, 26 (1). pp. 100-106. ISSN 1758-2512

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Abstract

The COVID-19 global pandemic has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging episodes in recent human history, impacting virtually all aspects of life and states worldwide to a greater or lesser extent.1 In that respect, in September 2020, the United Nations General Assembly passed an omnibus resolution calling the crisis ‘one of the greatest global challenges in the history of the United Nations’.2 As of 21 July 2021, the World Health Organization revealed that there have been 191,148,056 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including 4,109,303 deaths reported by states, with the United Kingdom accounting for over 5 and a half million confirmed cases and almost 130,000 deaths. 3 Whilst obviously presenting itself initially as an enormous public health crisis, the pandemic has also raised massive social, political and legal issues as lockdown, physical distancing and various surveillance measures have restricted the freedoms and liberties of individuals.
Following this introduction, the second section sets out the legal framework in the UK which has proven particularly complex for several reasons, not least of all due to changing strategic approaches and easing of restriction measures, as well as the nature of the disease itself which has rapidly evolved over the past 18 months, and also the nature of devolution leading to some divergence in how the nations of the UK have responded. The third section then provides an overview of the most significant legal challenges heard in the UK since the beginning of the pandemic, with the majority of judgments showing a degree of judicial deference to the Government to tackle the public health crisis. The final section concludes and looks to future developments.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
K Law > KD England and Wales
K Law > KD England and Wales > KDC Scotland
Divisions: Law
Publisher: Coventry University
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2021 09:19
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 09:30
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15366

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