Laws which criminalise what would otherwise be normal daily life and which the police must enforce must be clear, unambiguous, fair and fairly applied, logical and proportionate to the public health imperative. The purpose of this blog post is to illustrate the difficulties with the amended legislation, the inconsistencies between the laws of the four nations of the UK, as well as the problems of enforcement by the police. Whatever the problems with the legislation, whatever the high profile breaches, people must socially distance and must wear masks when unable to do so. The coronavirus is not going away soon, or perhaps ever. It may be joined by other novel viruses and human life may have to change.

With greatly improving weather, and recent news of high profile breaches of the rules, the British public have decided for themselves to begin to emerge from lockdown and to start enjoy the weather. The four nations of the UK have responded to this by relaxing the lockdown regulations applicable to each of them, albeit in distinct ways, to different extents and at slightly different points in time. Click here to continue.

The ‘lockdown’ has been slightly relaxed in England but much less so in the other three nations. In England, this relaxation was announced by the Prime Minister in a nationally televised address at 7pm on a Sunday. By 7am the next day, there was considerable uncertainty as to what he meant and from when he meant things to change. The First Secretary of State, no less, had to be subsequently ‘corrected’ by his own Government after a Radio 4 interview. The more draconian the legal restrictions are, the more important it is to ensure that they are readily understood by the population, which must obey them, and by the police, who must enforce them. Otherwise, they lose much of their utility in the protection of public health. That is as true of restrictions that are relaxed as it is of the original restrictions. Click here to continue.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 and the similar (but not identical) regulations made in the other 3 nations of the UK (together, “the ‘Lockdown’ Regulations”) have been suggested by some to be unlawful (being ultra vires their parent statute) insofar as they purport to criminalise all those leaving the places where they are living, as opposed to merely those who may be infected. This blog examines the main arguments and explains the legal consequences if those arguments are right. Click here to continue.

Police misconduct panels must explain their decisions on disciplinary outcome in a structured manner, referring to the seriousness of the misconduct, the purpose of disciplinary sanctions and the most appropriate sanction for the misconduct. The High Court has quashed a misconduct panel’s decision to impose a final written warning on the basis that the panel failed to do this: R (Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police) v (1) Police Misconduct Panel (2) Roscoe (2018) Case no 698/2018. 

Shaw v Leigh Day (A firm) [2017] EWHC 825 QB

Attention family representatives! Absolutely nooo pressure at all, it's just that if you don’t get your client the closure they want out of an inquest, now you can be sued for damages for causing them distress. That is the effect of this recent High Court decision.

The tweetie-birds-round-head inducing litigation saga is set out in more detail below. In a nutshell, Mrs Shaw's elderly father had a cardiac arrest following complications of a trans aortic valve procedure (TAVI). She instructed Leigh Day, one suspects on a private basis (although this isn’t clear from the decision), and there was an Article 2 inquest at the end of which the jury concluded that the death was an unintended result of a therapeutic procedure and made no criticisms of anyone.

The inquest left Mrs Shaw dissatisfied and, so far as she was concerned, lacking answers to key questions. Even though there has been since been a successful negligence action against the hospital and the surgeon, the High Court has now cleared the way for her to claim £5,000 for mental distress from Leigh Day caused by what she says is the poor job they made of getting disclosure and representing her at the inquest.


UK Healthcare Blog

UK Inquest Law Blog

UK Medical Decision Law Blog (Updating Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law, third edition)

  • A recent High Court decision should remind all those involved in the issuing of simple adult cautions of the need to follow the Ministry of Justice guidance.

  • Disclosure of the evidence (not necessarily the documents) should be provided.

  • Cautions would only be quashed in an exceptional case where a caution is administered in clear breach of the guidelines.

Home Office circular 005/2012. Amendments to determinations under the Police Regulations 2003.

Annex C

Reckoning service during maternity leave: this substitution shall have effect from 5 October 2008.

Annex F

Pay on promotion: this substitution shall have effect from 1 February 2012.

Annex I

Temporary salary: this substitution shall have effect from 1 February 2012.

Annex J

Temporary promotion: this substitution shall have effect from 1 February 2012.

Annex L

Maternity pay: this substitution shall have effect from 1 February 2012.

Annex R

Maternity leave and adoption leave: part 1 of the new annex R shall have effect from 5 October 2008, part 2 of the new annex R shall have effect from 1 September 2006 and part 3 of the new annex R shall have effect from 1 January 2011.

Annex S

Maternity support leave, adoption support leave and parental leave: this substitution shall have effect from 1 September 2006.

Annex UU

Acting up allowance: this substitution shall have effect from 1 February 2012.