Public Law Blog

Insights and legal updates from our specialist public law solicitors.

5 June 2020

What am I allowed to do now? The legal extent of the updated Police lockdown powers

With all charges, convictions and sentences brought under the new Coronavirus Act 2020 being re-examined by the CPS following a spate of unlawful proceedings, the police will undoubtedly be treading carefully in the wake of the biggest legal relaxation of the lockdown rules since the country shut down at the end of March.

Stephen Parkinson

15 May 2020

The inquest process during COVID-19 restrictions

Inquest proceedings, like other legal proceedings in the UK, have been significantly affected by social distancing restrictions and advice arising from the COVID-19 crisis. This blog looks briefly at the impact of the Coronavirus Act 2020 on proceedings, and examines the Chief Coroner’s guidance notes to coroners working during the crisis.

Fred Allen

7 May 2020

The future public inquiry into COVID-19

The devastation wrought by COVID-19 has led to profound questions about the UK government’s response to the pandemic. Calls for a public inquiry are continuing to mount and are likely to prove difficult to resist. This blog considers the framework for such inquiries, and the key issues likely to form the core of its terms of reference.

Sophie Kemp

24 April 2020

COVID-19 and contact tracing apps: A test of public confidence in data privacy?

Dominic Raab announced last week that the current UK lockdown would last for at least another three weeks. These restrictions are unlikely to be relaxed until a large scale plan is in place to track and restrict the spread of the virus. Part of this plan will involve the use of the NHS “contact tracing” app, which we have been told is in an advanced stage of development.

Emily Carter

23 April 2020

Expenses and Exemptions: Looking at the case of George Greenwood v Information Commissioner (2020)

The recent case of George Greenwood v Information Commissioner (2020) (“Greenwood”) gives useful guidance on the Information Tribunal’s approach when applying one of the s.40(2) exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “FOIA”). When relying on this exemption, public authorities sometimes face the thorny issue of balancing the privacy considerations of third party personal data against principles that militate in favour of disclosing the information. The judgment makes clear that, when considering this balance, the scales are weighed quite significantly towards the privacy rights of third party data subjects.

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