Home > News > Court of Appeal dismisses challenge to the “lockdown legislation”

In a judgment handed down on 1 December 2020, the Court of Appeal has dismissed the challenge brought by Mr Dolan & ors to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 as enacted and as subsequently amended: R (Dolan & ors) v Secretary of State for Health & Social Care & another [2020] EWCA Civ 1605.

The Regulations gave effect to the “lockdown” measures announced by the Prime Minister at the end of March in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Permission to apply for judicial review was refused on all grounds by Lewis J on 6 July 2020, following a full day hearing.

The Court of Appeal granted permission to apply for judicial review on Ground One of the claim – that the Regulations were ultra vires the powers contained in Part 2A of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 – but dismissed that ground of claim substantively. Permission to appeal against Lewis J’s Order was refused on all other grounds (including irrationality and alleged breaches of ECHR rights) on the basis that the claim was academic and the ground were, in any event, unarguable.

The Court of Appeal has refused permission to apply to the Supreme Court. A copy of the Court of Appeal judgment can be accessed here and Lewis J’s judgment here.

Jacqueline Lean represented the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care, led by Sir James Eadie QC and Zoe Leventhal.

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