Law or Fiction is a website for ordinary citizens, including lawyers, to understand their rights and how they have been affected, or not, as a result of the UK government’s response to Covid-19. Leaving aside argument over the cost to lives and livelihoods resulting from the sustained lockdown policy and economic damage resulting, the dressing up of unenforceable policy guidance as enforceable rule of law is an issue of serious public concern.
We do not advocate breaking the law. We advocate understanding the law and acting within it.
The birth of Law or fiction
On 18th March 2020, the Prime Minister and Education Secretary announced to the country that, after schools shut their gates on the afternoon of Friday 20th March they would, for the vast majority of pupils, remain closed until further notice.
In response to various aspects of lockdown, businessman Simon Dolan filed a judicial review application in the Courts. Among the complaints was that the government and its ministers did not have the legal authority to close the schools as they did. The defence filed in Court was that government ministers didn’t order closures of the schools! Instead, they say: “This was a request, not a direction.”
Ordinary citizens person listening to the government message had thought that the government had forced the schools to close and was exercising its authority to do so. The defence in Court was nothing less than the government admitting its ministers had been either ignorant or duplicitous in their communications with the public.
Representation was made to the public of the existence a legal obligation that was, in truth, fictional. When ‘requests’ or unenforceable guidance are promoted by government and in mainstream media as enforceable rules of law, we are being misled.
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laworfiction.com is owned by Law or Fiction Ltd. We hope to offer simple and clear statements on issues where the public may be confused by reports in the mainstream media. Some issues may be too complicated for this format and may be addressed in longer articles in the In Depth section of this site. In any event, posts and articles on this website should not be taken to be comprehensive statements of the law. The contents of this site are for general information purposes only. In using this website you accept our disclaimer.