Judicial Review into Government lockdown to proceed to next stage

Royal Courts

A legal challenge against the UK Government lockdown will continue to be heard after the Court of Appeal ruled that the case highlighted ‘fundamental’ concerns over the accountability of Government Ministers.

The Judicial Review, led by businessman and founder of the Keep Britain Free movement Simon Dolan, will now proceed to a rolled-up hearing expected to be held at the Court of Appeal during the week commencing the 28thSeptember after a ruling was handed down by Lord Justice Hickinbottom.

The hearing will decide on whether the case should progress to a full Appeal which would see the Government once again pressed to defend the introduction of measures which were described by the court as “possibly the most restrictive regime on the public life of persons and businesses ever.”

Mr Dolan’s first bid to bring a High Court Challenge against the Government was originally denied by the courts, however, following review by Lord Justice Hickinbottom it was decided that the case should progress.

Lord Justice Hickinbottom said that the legal challenge “potentially raises fundamental issues concerning the proper spheres for democratically-accountable Ministers of the Government and judges.”

Simon Dolan said: “I am delighted our legal challenge will progress to the next stage. The Government’s decision to unilaterally lockdown the United Kingdom marks the most serious imposition on personal freedoms in recent history.

With the possibility of these restrictions being re-imposed looming over all our heads, it is only right that the Government is held to account and the legality of its actions questioned.

In recent months, we have seen Government Ministers fumble their way through decision after decision without adequate Parliamentary scrutiny and due care and attention for the socio-economic impact their measures have had.

That is why I am also calling on the Government to ensure that schools return to normal come September. No blended learning, no social bubbles, and no face masks, it is time that the Government consider the devastating impact that its policies have had on children’s mental health and get them back learning.

Our economy and citizens cannot afford another U-turn by this Government, so I will tirelessly continue to press for a return to a normal way of life, as soon as possible.”

The legal challenge against the Government has received unprecedented public support, with a crowdfund campaign raising over £232,000 through 7600 pledges since the beginning of May.

Owing to Government restrictions, Mr Dolan’s first hearing was held virtually. However, Lord Justice Hickinbottom ordered in his review that the case should be “considered by the full court in open court, and the Applicants given any opportunity to make good their case at least on arguability.”

Mr Dolan is represented by Michael Gardner of law firm Wedlake Bell LLP, Philip Havers QC, a barrister and Deputy High Court Judge who specialises in public law, and barrister Francis Hoar of Field Court Chambers.