A legal challenge against the Government brought by a Monaco resident has achieved unprecedented public support, raising over £250,000 in a crowdfund campaign.
The Judicial Review, led by businessman and founder of the Keep Britain Free movement Simon Dolan (49), is challenging the lawfulness of the Government’s COVID-19 lockdown measures, and has received over 8,200 individual pledges since the beginning of May,
Mr Dolan’s first bid to bring a High Court Challenge against the Government was originally denied by the courts. However, following review by Lord Justice Hickinbottom it has been decided that the case should progress to the Court of Appeal.
The case will proceed to a rolled-up hearing expected to be held at the Court of Appeal during the week commencing the September 28 after a ruling was handed down by Lord Justice Hickinbottom.
The hearing will decide on whether the case should progress to a full Appeal which would see the Government once again pressed to defend the introduction of measures which were described by the court as “possibly the most restrictive regime on the public life of persons and businesses ever.”
Owing to Government restrictions, Mr Dolan’s first hearing was held virtually. However, Lord Justice Hickinbottom ordered in his review that the case should be “considered by the full court in open court, and the Applicants given any opportunity to make good their case at least on arguability”.
Simon Dolan said: “The Government’s decision to unilaterally lockdown the United Kingdom marks the most serious imposition on personal freedoms in recent history. Already tens of thousands have been sentenced to death, millions of children have been deprived of an education, our economy has been left in ruins and we have experienced the largest fall in employment in over a decade.
“Citizens in Leicester and Greater Manchester continue to be unlawfully stripped of their freedoms and liberties, and Birmingham could be the next city to be forced into a local lockdown. With the possibility of further restrictions looming over all our heads, it is only right that the Government is held to account and the legality of its actions questioned.”
“I’m so incredibly grateful for the unprecedented public support we have received, and the success of our crowdfund campaign reveals the extent to which the public are aligned in our cause. Those members of the British public who have given money to support our legal action to seek Judicial Review are teachers, nurses and care workers as well as business owners including pub landlords and shop owners who all want life to get back to normal and for this to never happen again.”
Mr Dolan is represented by Michael Gardner of law firm Wedlake Bell LLP, Philip Havers QC, a barrister and Deputy High Court Judge who specialises in public law, and barrister Francis Hoar of Field Court Chambers.