Yaaser Vanderman and Charles Bishop are acting in R (Gardner) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which has been named as one of the Top 20 cases for 2022 in The Lawyer.
The case challenges various policies in respect of care homes which were implemented right at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the policy of discharging some hospital patients to care homes back in Spring 2020. Among other things, it is alleged that these policies breached the UK’s positive obligation to protect the right to life of care home residents during the early stages of the pandemic under Article 2 ECHR. The Claimants argue that these policies were responsible for tens of thousands of deaths of care home residents in the UK in 2020. The Defendants resist this and argue that all measures were taken to protect care home residents in line with the scientific advice at the time.
Further detail can be found here (Note: subscription required to read). After a number of procedural hearings, the Divisional Court is due to hear the substantive hearing between 14 – 21 March 2022. The case is likely to be of significant importance for the forthcoming COVID-19 Inquiry and for establishing various principles as to the state’s positive obligations under Article 2 ECHR.