End the Quarantine

by A concerned citizen

End the Quarantine

by A concerned citizen
A concerned citizen
Case Owner
I am a solicitor and UK businessman and have chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect the identity of my children in this legal battle.
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A concerned citizen
Case Owner
I am a solicitor and UK businessman and have chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect the identity of my children in this legal battle.
Pledge now

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Latest: March 30, 2021

Update on our case

We have decided to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the judgment of the High Court.  The appeal is brought on the following grounds:

  1. That the judge did not explain whether what he described …

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Who am I?

I am a UK solicitor and businessman with two school-aged children. Upon return from our summer holiday in Croatia we have in simple language been placed under house arrest (now known as quarantine). 

My case

Like many other holidaymakers, business people and other travellers, our lives have been significantly affected by this policy. Additionally, many people have been put off travelling and this is destroying the travel industry both here and abroad. Accordingly, we have decided to challenge these regulations. 

As a result of new government laws that took effect in June 2020, tens of thousands of people visiting or returning to the UK from many countries including EU countries are being subjected to 2 weeks of house arrest.

The Grounds of the judicial review, which set out the legal case in full, are here.

What's at stake?

Children are having to miss school and families are unable to return to work. The impacts on daily life both financially and socially are significant. Unlike during ‘lockdown’ which for many was bad enough, these regulations are even more stringent as you are not entitled to exercise outside of your house or flat. My family and I live in a flat and we are not even allowed to step outside for some fresh air. In fact, only one member of the household is allowed to get the shopping.

Many have unquestioningly accepted this state of affairs as the government has misled us to believe that these measures are backed by science. They are not. 

People will be stunned to learn that the government has introduced these draconian measures without any scientific studies to back them up. In other words these measures are entirely arbitrary and irrational. As such it is my contention that these laws were passed illegally.

The government has done so on the pretext that it is for our protection. If that is so, one has to query why they have not provided any scientific evidence. On the contrary, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer and SAGE have advised against it.

I travel abroad with my family around six times per year which, if these regulations are allowed to continue, would potentially mean having to be under conditions of house arrest for almost a quarter of our lives each year.

Until 2020 house arrest was something reserved for criminals. In a free and democratic society, it is unacceptable for governments to make laws depriving individuals let alone large sections of the population of their fundamental right to liberty.

How can you help?

I would ask all those who feel the same way especially those in the travel industry who have been devastated by these measures to back our legal battle and donate on CrowdJustice.

Our initial target is £10,000 to cover the legal fees of issuing Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court. The total sum needed to progress this complex and important challenge will be many times this. Once the initial target is met, the stretch target will be increased as the case goes on. Substantially more funding will allow me to instruct a solicitors firm and to acquire more resources that will be needed to take on the government in a case of great importance to all travellers and the UK economy

We publish the grounds of appeal above and will publish other court documents and keep the public informed of the key steps in the legal battle.

Thank you all for your support!

Update 2

A concerned citizen

March 30, 2021

Update on our case

We have decided to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the judgment of the High Court.  The appeal is brought on the following grounds:

  1. That the judge did not explain whether what he described as ‘powerful points’, suggesting that ‘self-isolation’ was detention contrary to Article 5 of the ECHR, established that it was detention; and that he was wrong to find that detention could be imposed indiscriminately on any traveller entering the UK, rather than those about whom there was reason to believe might be infected with the virus;
  2. The judge, having found that the government were obliged to consider the effect of self-isolation on travellers and the social and economic effects of the International Travel Regulations as a whole, should have found that it was arguably disproportionate to impose the Regulations in the absence of any evidence that the government had taken any account of those factors (which were not mentioned in any of their submissions or evidence); and
  3. The judge was wrong to find that it was reasonable or proportionate to decide which countries were placed on or removed from the ‘safe’ country list – Schedule A1 to the International Travel Regulations – through a committee (the Joint Biosecurity Centre) sitting in secret whose conclusions and advice is given in secret and have never been published.

The Grounds of Appeal and Counsel’s note of the judgment of the High Court can be uploaded here:

 https://static.crowdjustice.com/crowdjustice_document/R_AB_v_SoS_-_Note_of_Jmt_on_18.3.2021.pdf

https://static.crowdjustice.com/crowdjustice_document/R_AB_v_SoS_-_Grounds_of_Appeal_24.3.2021.pdf 

(Please note that this is a note of a judgment that was given orally.  A transcript of that judgment is being obtained.)

We have asked the Court of Appeal to ‘expedite’ the hearing of this appeal, given that these proceedings were issued in September and the Regulations were imposed in June 2020.  It is important that the lawfulness of laws that affect everyone entering England – and which have been hugely damaging to the English tourist and travel industry – are reviewed.  We have been very disappointed that the High Court did not hear this case for six months after it was issued.

We have been ordered to pay £15,000 in costs and we expect that at least £15,000 will be needed in the event of a further hearing (excluding the costs of the government).  We would be hugely grateful for any contributions towards this fight to ensure scrutiny and fairness for travellers and businesses.

We would like to thank everyone for their generous support for this case.

Update 1

A concerned citizen

March 19, 2021

Update on our case

The first hearing of the judicial review was yesterday – six months after it was issued in September 2020.  Unfortunately, the High Court did not give permission to proceed.  This decision can be appealed but we have only seven days to file an appeal.

The judge, Sir Ross Cranston, found that there were ‘powerful’ arguments that self-isolation under the International Travel Regulations was ‘detention’ under Article 5 of the ECHR (that protects against the deprivation of liberty).  However, he found that the qualification of Article 5.1(e) did not only apply to infectious persons but allowed a state to impose detention in order to prevent the spread of further infection; and that it applied in this case.  That left the question of whether the restrictions were rational, reasonable and proportionate.

At the hearing, the Secretary of State’s counsel accepted that, before making the regulations, she was obliged to consider the wider social and economic effects of the restrictions, not just the effect on transmission of the virus.  This was the first time that had been accepted in any of the submissions made on her behalf.  The judge noted the need to balance these factors.  The Judge found that the Secretary of State did so despite the fact that there was no impact assessment and no evidence of any attempt by the government to consider anything other than the effect of the restrictions on transmission.  While the court must give the government a ‘wide margin of appreciation’ in a judicial review, that does not mean that it is immune from review; and the judge accepted that that margin will be very small where there is no impact assessment.

This was a disappointing judgment that shows that the courts are extremely reluctant to review restrictions imposed to contain Covid 19, despite the huge consequences for freedom of movement (in this case) and the economy.  Supreme Court authorities from before 2020 – acknowledged in the judgment – make it clear that proportionality can only be judged by a consideration of all factors.  That did not happen here.

We are considering an appeal.

We have today attached the Summary Grounds of Resistance, the skeleton arguments of the parties.  We will add a note of the judgment (which was given orally) shortly.

Many thanks to everyone who has so kindly contributed to this attempt to ensure that the government is not able to impose onerous and costly restrictions without scrutiny.

https://static.crowdjustice.com/crowdjustice_document/Sum_Grds_of_Resistance_and_Ds_Bundle_redacted_Redacted.pdf

https://static.crowdjustice.com/crowdjustice_document/RAB_v_SSHSC-_Defendants_Skeleton_Argument_12.03.2021_redact_cdOc0Fx.pdf

https://static.crowdjustice.com/crowdjustice_document/R_AB_v_SoS_-_Skeleton_Argument_for_18.3.2021.pdf

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