The First English Coronavirus Lockdown and the Right to Liberty (Article 5 ECHR)
Honours L.L.B. student at Maastricht University
The unprecedented situation caused by the coronavirus was the justification for the lockdowns that were imposed across the globe. Inevitably, measures of this kind engaged individuals’ fundamental rights, namely the right to liberty. This paper focuses on The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, a statute which was in place in England. In a democratic society, it is essential to make sure legislation complies with the human rights we are entitled to and to hold the legislator accountable if it is not; especially in the case of important rights such as the right to liberty. As a result, the movement restrictions that were hastily put in place should be critically evaluated, in order to ascertain whether this right was overlooked; while public health is a vital consideration, intrusive measures can only ever be justified if individual rights have been taken into consideration. It has been found that this fundamental right was respected, which should instil more trust in the democratic process and in the fight against the virus.
* This article is reproduced here with permission by ELSA Maastricht Law Review. The article was originally published in its 5th edition.