In April of this year I and a number of others (grown now to many hundreds), invested a sizeable chunk of cash in a crowdfunded action led by businessman Simon Dolan to get a Judicial Review of the cavalier actions of the UK government in abusing public health legislation to impose un-democratic, damaging and totally unnecessary dictats – the extent with which we are all by now painfully familiar. This started to unroll with a letter before action sent by us on the last day of April. The government lawyers have been very slow from the start to respond, and it was not until 21st May that we were able to file an application for JR. The can was kicked a bit more by them and it was not until 15th May that the government filed a 53 page defence. Despite the clearly urgent public interest character of the action, a Court date for the application was not set until July 2nd, 100 days after the first lockdown. The judge took the hearing online and was clearly disinclined to listen to anything but the media narrative. Four days later he produced a judgement of predictable refusal.
It was not until the end of October, after a raft of delays by government lawyers going on holiday, an intervention from the Speaker of the House of Commons and other delays, that the appeal finally came to court before the Lord Chief Justice and two other Appeal judges. After two days of hearing judgment was reserved. Although we are three weeks past that no judgment has yet been given.
So in all this time the question of Judicial Review itself has still not been settled. Talks about talks…..
I was raised thinking that I was fortunate to live in a country with such an ancient legal system founded upon integrity and the separation of powers. I hope that their lordships will show my grave doubts of that today to be unfounded, and do their job of defending the people from an overweaning and unscrupulous administration without further delay. Much is at stake.