A crowdfunded legal challenge to the government’s lockdown policy will be heard at the High Court on 2 July.
A Crowdjustice campaign, led by businessman Simon Dolan, has to date raised more than £182,000, with almost 5,500 people having donated to fund legal action against the government over ‘unlawful’ lockdown measures.
The High Court will hear an application for permission to seek judicial review of England’s lockdown policy, which Mr Dolan claims was imposed unlawfully and disproportionately breaches freedoms protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.
The judicial review centres on:
- Whether lockdown is unlawful because the government implemented regulations under the Public Health Act 1984 instead of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 or the Coronavirus Act 2020.
- The legality of the continuation of lockdown, and whether the tests for lifting it are too narrow, failing to take account of the economic and social impacts of lockdown.
- Whether the restrictions brought in by the government contravene European Convention rights to liberty, family life, education and property.
Mr Dolan is also challenging the secrecy of the scientific advice given by Sage and claims government’s five tests for ending lockdown are too narrow, and is seeking for lockdown to end immediately.
The claim is being brought against health secretary Matt Hancock, whose name is on lockdown legislation, and education secretary Gavin Williamson, who has presided over the closure of schools and universities.
Dolan, who is said to be worth over £200 million, owns or part-owns 10 businesses in the UK employing 600 people. He argues there has been no democratic process for imposing the lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
“In that time, £2.5 billion has been wiped off the UK economy each day, millions of children are shut out of school, the NHS faces a waiting list explosion, and the freedoms of everyone in the UK have been trampled over. In all this time, the government has shown the agility of a beached whale.”
The application comes after Dolan’s legal advisers warned the Government on 30 April that legal action would be taken unless drastic steps were taken to ease restrictions.
Due to ongoing lockdown restrictions, the hearing will take place remotely, with parties including Dolan attending via video link.