Do local authorities have the power to impose a full scale local 'lockdown'? UPDATED

Christopher Bevan examines the powers available to local authorities particularly under Regulation 6 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 in providing a local public health response to the incidence and spread of coronavirus. Read more
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Sep 17, 2020

Government upholds decision by council to issue direction cancelling international boat show

The Minister of State for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, Nadine Dorries MP, has upheld Southampton City Council’s decision to issue a direction which cancelled the Southampton International Boat Show (Boats 2020).
Sep 15, 2020

Health and care workers report lack of legal training on how to uphold human rights law during COVID-19: BIHR

More than three quarters (76%) of people working in health and care who responded to a call for evidence told the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) that during COVID-19 they were not provided with legal training or clear information about upholding human rights law.
Aug 28, 2020

Court of Appeal refuses council and claimants permission for appeal over Kent stroke services reconfiguration

The Court of Appeal has refused permission to appeal a High Court ruling dismissing a judicial review challenge to a stroke services review in Kent.
Aug 20, 2020

Health and care regulator to engage with market ahead of procurement of £6m legal services framework

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has given notice of its intention to procure a legal services framework worth up to £6m over five years.
Aug 10, 2020

LGA calls for temporary public health or COVID-19 objective in Licensing Act

The Local Government Association has called for councils to be given the powers to close down pubs and other licensed premises which are failing to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Jul 30, 2020

The Mental Health Act, s117 after-care and ordinary residence

The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers explain the background to the government's change of approach to ordinary residence for s.117 after-care.
Jul 22, 2020

Watchdogs in Wales to consider using their powers to scrutinise decisions and actions taken by public bodies in relation to older people during pandemic

The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales and the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Wales are to consider whether the Welsh Government and public bodies in Wales have met their responsibilities to uphold the human rights of older people during COVID-19.
Jul 20, 2020

Government admits failure to carry out Data Protection Impact Assessment for ‘Test and Trace’ programme

The Government has admitted, following a legal challenge from a privacy campaigning organisation, that it deployed the COVID-19 'Test and Trace' programme without carrying out a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) beforehand.
Jul 18, 2020

Government issues guidance for councils on use of new powers to impose local shutdowns in response to COVID-19 outbreaks

The Government has issued guidance for local authorities in England on what the new local shutdown regulations allow them to do, how they should exercise those powers and how those powers should be enforced.
Jul 16, 2020

Implementation of Liberty Protection Safeguards delayed until April 2022

Implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), the scheme designed to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), has been put back until April 2022, the Government has confirmed.


September 15, 2020

The "Rule of 6" Coronavirus Regulations

Gary Grant sets out the key elements of the government's new 'Rule of 6' regulations.
September 10, 2020

Continuous supervision and control

Alex Ruck Keene analyses a further judicial take on deprivation of liberty.
August 06, 2020

Continuing care decisions and children

A claimant recently brought a successful irrationality challenge to an NHS continuing care decision. Michael Armitage and Ciar McAndrew explain how.
August 05, 2020

Local authorities and local lockdown

Tiffany Cloynes examines the powers that local authorities in England have been given to introduce local lockdown measures to tackle local outbreaks of the coronavirus.
July 30, 2020

Alcohol and capacity

A recent case heard by the Vice President of the Court of Protection, Hayden J, raises three important points about the interpretation and application of sections 2 and 3 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (‘MCA’) in the context of alcohol addiction, writes Tony Harrop-Griffths.
July 30, 2020

COVID-19, care settings and deprivations of liberty

Rebecca Gowling analyses whether Care Quality Commission data suggests a rise in unauthorised deprivations of liberty.
July 03, 2020

Amendments in procurement disputes

The High Court has adopted a permissive approach to amendments in a procurement dispute, write Emily Heard and Kyle Duggan.
May 04, 2020

DNACPR orders during coronavirus

Victoria Mortimer examines issues around care planning and the use of DNACPR orders in the current crisis.


Jul 08, 2020

Green light given for judicial review challenge of £350 million hospital redevelopment plan

A judicial review into the allocation of funding for hospital services in Hertfordshire is to take place after campaigners for a new hospital successfully applied for a judicial review of the plan to redevelop the area's existing hospitals.
Jul 08, 2020

Police to probe hospital accused of removing patients from waiting lists

Allegations that Kettering General Hospital removed patients from waiting lists are being revisited by police who say they are launching an investigation of possible False or Misleading Information Offences (FOMI) offences by the hospital.
Jul 02, 2020

Doctors lose legal challenge against council, police and CCGs over Local Safeguarding Arrangements Plan

Doctors have failed in a High Court challenge to Northamptonshire County Council, the county’s chief constable and two NHS clinical commissioning groups over whether they should be paid to assist safeguarding partners.
Jul 02, 2020

Court of Protection judge approves young adult who lacks capacity being stem cell donor for mother

A young adult who lacks mental capacity can be used as a stem cell donor for a parent if this is also in the donor’s interest, the Court of Protection has ruled.
Jun 30, 2020

Department for Health and Social Care sets out position on ordinary residence determinations pending legal challenge

The Department for Health and Social Care has issued a position statement on the determination of ordinary residence disputes pending the outcome of the judicial review challenge brought by Worcestershire County Council.
Jun 24, 2020

Councils told not to prioritise preparations for Liberty Protection Safeguards

The Government has told local authorities and other agencies not to give priority to the introduction of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) due to pressures from dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jun 15, 2020

Government amends MCA/DOLS guidance during COVID-19 to include section on right to appeal if those subject to emergency health powers and lacking capacity

The Department for Health and Social Care has added a new section to The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance on the right to appeal if someone is subject to emergency health powers and lacks the relevant mental capacity.
Jun 15, 2020

Councils call for suspension of No Recourse to Public Funds condition

The Local Government Association has called for the suspension of the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) “so that all vulnerable individuals are entitled to receive support during the coronavirus crisis”.
Jun 15, 2020

Government facing legal challenge over urgent award of £108m PPE contract

The Good Law Project will today launch judicial review proceedings over the Government’s award of an £108m contract to a pest control company for the supply of PPE.
Jun 04, 2020

Claimant calls off judicial review action after council offers concessions on use of Care Act 'easements'

Concessions by Derbyshire County Council have enabled it to avoid a threatened judicial review over use of the Care Act ‘easements’ introduced by the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Jun 04, 2020

Official Solicitor takes part for first time in hearing of out of hours application in serious medical treatment case

The Official Solicitor has for the first time taken part in the hearing of an urgent out of hours application in a serious medical treatment case.
Jun 04, 2020

Government facing legal action over policies on care homes during COVID-19 crisis

A daughter whose father died of suspected COVID-19 in a care home is to launch a legal action “to hold the government to account”.
Jun 01, 2020

Leader calls for council to be given more powers to implement local lockdown

The Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council has called for the local authority to be given more powers to implement a local lockdown in the area.
May 21, 2020

Campaigners in legal threat over "failure to collect data on deaths of those with learning disabilities and autism during COVID-19"

Disability campaigners have sent a letter before action to five public bodies over what they say has been a failure to mandate the collection and publication of data on the deaths of people with learning disabilities and autism during the coronavirus pandemic.
May 15, 2020

Safeguards over deprivations of liberty are “indispensable” to frail and vulnerable, says senior judge, amid “striking and troubling” drop in number of s.21A applications

The view that careful adherence to proper legal process and appropriate authorisation of deprivations of liberty may now, at times, be required to give way to other pressing welfare priorities is “entirely misconceived”, the Vice President of the Court of Protection has warned.
May 11, 2020

Disabled claimant to challenge NHS England guidance restricting hospital visitors

A disabled woman has sent a pre-action protocol letter to NHS England over its “Visitor guidance”, which imposes restrictions on those entering hospitals.
May 06, 2020

Judge rules terminally ill woman could leave care home to live with family despite COVID-19 restrictions

A Court of Protection judge has ruled that a dying woman should be removed from a care home where Covid-19 could have been present to spend her final days with her family, despite pandemic restrictions.
May 04, 2020

Court of Protection has power to grant injunctive relief, judge rules

The Court of Protection has the power to grant injunctive relief in support of and to ensure compliance with its best interests decisions and its orders, a judge has concluded.
Apr 14, 2020

Government faces legal action over failure to produce guidance on prioritisation of NHS treatment if demand outstrips supply

Disability campaigners have threatened the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care and NHS England with a potential judicial review challenge over the failure to publish guidance on how NHS treatment for COVID-19 will be prioritised if demand outstrips supply.
Apr 08, 2020

Court of Protection Bar Association issues guidance on remote hearings

The Court of Protection Bar Association has produced guidance on effective remote hearings.
Apr 08, 2020

Health and safety watchdog outlines when RIDDOR report is needed for COVID-19 cases

The Health and Safety Executive has set out when a report must be made under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) in relation to COVID-19.
Apr 06, 2020

Councils want to keep parks open, but people need to follow social distancing, says Local Government Association

The government has called on councils not to close parks unless it is impossible to maintain social distancing in them.
Apr 01, 2020

Families of disabled children threaten legal challenge over government limit on outdoor exercise

A pre-action protocol letter has been sent to the Government calling on it to reconsider the policy that all citizens are only permitted to leave the house for exercise once per day.
Apr 01, 2020

NICE amends Covid-19 critical care guideline after judicial review threat

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (‘NICE’) has changed the COVID-19 guideline for clinical care after being threatened with a judicial review challenge.
Apr 01, 2020

Government issues guidance on how local authorities can use Care Act ‘easements’

The Department of Health & Social Care has published guidance setting out local authorities can use the new 'easements' under the Coronavirus Act 2020 that mean they no longer need to meet certain duties under the Care Act.


April 24, 2020

Standards of care during COVID-19

What standard of care should hospitals be held to in the COVID-19 outbreak? James Todd QC and Emma Corkill look at the key considerations.
April 20, 2020

R (Bayer and Novartis) v NHS Darlington Clinical Commissioning Groups

David Lock QC and David Blundell QC explain the background, arguments and consequences of R (Bayer and Novartis) v NHS Darlington Clinical Commissioning Groups and others in a series of podcasts.
April 14, 2020

Articles 3 and 8 in the time of coronavirus

Arianna Kelly looks at a new case with significant implications for local authorities using the Care Act ‘easements’.
April 09, 2020

The European Commission on public procurement during COVID-19

The European Commission has published a Communication “Guidance on using the public procurement framework in the emergency situation related to the COVID-19 crisis”. Susie Smith examines what it has to say.
April 02, 2020

A life worth living

Nageena Khalique QC looks at Mostyn J's judgment in a novel case concerning withdrawal of life sustaining treatment in the Court of Protection’s first ever Skype trial.
March 30, 2020

Court of Appeal upholds lawfulness of NHS Avastin choice policy for wet AMD patients

A policy of 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to recommend that NHS clinicians should offer patients a choice between two licensed medicines and a cheaper drug for a treatment was confirmed as lawful following the Court of Appeal's dismissal of an appeal brought by pharmaceutical companies. David Lock QC and David Blundell QC analyse the judgment.
March 19, 2020

Covid-19: Court of Protection guidance on visiting P and hearings

The Court of Protection has issued two important pieces of guidance in the last two days, writes Jonathan Auburn.
March 06, 2020

Not only inimical… but potentially fatal: medical treatment cases and delay

A recent case shows how important it is that doctors and other professionals are supported within their organisations to understand the points at which they need to consider an application to the Court of Protection, writes the CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers.
February 28, 2020

Refusing food, (in)capacity and coming to court

A Court of Protection judge has made important observations about the need to distinguish between a reluctance to answer questions and an inability to do so, writes the CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers.
February 21, 2020

Finding the right balance with constrained resources

A recent decision is a useful reminder of the distinction between public law decisions and best interests decisions (the Court of Protection having jurisdiction over the former but not the latter) and the way in which, in practice, public law decisions may limit significantly the best interests decisions that can sensibly be made, writes the CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers.
February 14, 2020

Coronavirus, public health and coercive powers

The UK Coronavirus regulations contain legal powers to control a public health crisis. David Lawson looks at the key elements.
February 14, 2020

Consulting on the reconfiguration of hospital services

The Court of Appeal last month rejected a challenge to reorganisation plans by two clinical commissioning groups in the North East. 39 Essex Chambers explains why.
February 07, 2020

The power to quarantine

David Lawson considers the law and practice of quarantine – of individuals, of groups and of places, of the unwell and of the healthy.
January 24, 2020

Public procurement challenges require strict and swift approach

Gwendoline Davies and Lynsey Oakdene offer practical advice arising from a High Court decision in a recent public procurement challenge.
January 03, 2020

Case management and expert evidence

In a recent case the Vice-President of the Court of Protection made some important comments in relation to case management. The CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers reports.
November 08, 2019

Deprivation of liberty in the community – how not to apply to court

A recent case reads as an object lesson in how not to make an application to the Court of Protection to authorise deprivation of liberty, writes Alex Ruck Keene.
November 01, 2019

NHS trusts and the duty of candour

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recently decided not to pursue a duty of candour case against an NHS trust due to a lack of evidence. Sarah Knight looks at the lessons to be learned.
October 25, 2019

Transgenderism and chosen pronouns

A Christian doctor was recently dismissed for refusing to address transgender patients by their chosen pronoun. Nadjia Zychowicz reports on the Employment Tribunal’s subsequent ruling.
October 25, 2019

Fluctuating capacity: decisions on the management of diabetes

Hope Davis-McCallion examines how the Court of Protection approached deciding whether a woman had capacity to make decisions about the management of her diabetes.
October 11, 2019

The limits of the inherent jurisdiction (1)

Mr Justice Cobb recently handed down two important decisions on the scope of the inherent jurisdiction at the border of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. In the first of two articles on these rulings, the Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers examine a case concerning a young adult and the use of the inherent jurisdiction to authorise deprivations of liberty where there is no statutory…