July 21st, 2020 by James Goudie KC

The Government has published Guidance on Local Authority powers to impose coronavirus restrictions to support the No 3 Regulations and the procedures to be followed. The provisions include the following.

  1. Sources of evidence are identified to establish that each of the 3 conditions for a Direction are met : (1) a “ serious and imminent threat”; (2) a “ necessary” aim; and (3) a “ proportionate “ means.
  2. Other duties which an authority must take into account are highlighted : (1) PSED; (2) the duty to ensure public access to essential public services and goods, listing categories of essential local and national infrastructure and of premises which form part of essential infrastructure.
  3. Methods of challenge : (1) Representations to the Secretary of State; (2) Appeal to the Magistrates Court.

On “necessary”, as distinct from “expedient”, see Notts County Council v SF (2020) EWCA Civ 226. On proportionality, the leading case remains Bank Mellat v HMT (2013) UKSC 38/39. Recent PSED cases include Parkin, (2019) EWHC 2356 (Admin), Simone (2019) EWHC (Admin) 2869, and Adiatu (2020) EWHC 1554 (Admin).

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