Judicial Review

Indian Supreme Court Rules Vaccine Mandates Unlawful as Courts Around the World Push Back Against Pandemic State Overreach

It’s been over two years since waves of ever tightening restrictions, including wholesale house arrests, began to be placed on healthy citizens who had committed no crime. One by one, the world’s democracies buckled to the herd panic about the Covid pandemic sweeping the world and their governments increasingly took on hues of totalitarian regimes in telling people when, where, how far, how long and with whom and how many they could go out or even sleep with; what businesses could operate and under what conditions; what medications doctors could and could not prescribe irrespective of their own professional judgement and knowledge of their patients; and mandatory mask and vaccine requirements for an array of social and professional interactions.

Many directives lacked scientific basis and some were downright wacky – there really is no better word for it. The apotheosis of executive overreach came in Canada with the truckers’ Freedom Convoy in Ottawa and in the Australian state of Victoria. In both, MPs betrayed the people, the country and the constitution by putting their own careers first, the party second and the country last. The unchecked growth of the administrative state and centralisation of authority, power and decision-making in prime ministers’ and premiers’ offices fused seamlessly into the rise of the biofascist state. Complicity by the media in propagating fear porn, social media censorship of alternative voices and threats of disciplinary proceedings including dismissal and deregistration by professional governing bodies ensured there’s been a stifling conformism.

Discharging Untested Patients to Care Homes Ruled Unlawful by High Court

Government policies on discharging untested patients from hospital to care homes in England at the start of the Covid pandemic have been ruled unlawful by the High Court. BBC News has more.

The ruling came after two women took Public Health England and the Health Secretary, then Matt Hancock, to court. Dr. Cathy Gardner and Fay Harris said it had caused a “shocking death toll”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson renewed his apologies for all those who lost loved ones during the pandemic.

When Covid hit in early 2020, patients were rapidly discharged into care homes without testing, despite the risk of asymptomatic transmission, with Government documents showing there was no requirement for this until mid-April.

Dr. Gardner and Ms Harris said there had been failures in protecting residents and brought the legal challenge. They partially succeeded in claims against Public Health England and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Speaking outside court, Dr. Gardner said she “believed all along that my father and other residents of care homes were neglected and let down by the Government”.

“The High Court has now vindicated that belief, and our campaign to expose the truth,” she said.

In their judgment, Lord Justice Bean and Mr. Justice Garnham found the decisions of the then Health Secretary to make and maintain a series of policies contained in documents issued on March 17th and 19th and April 2nd 2020 were unlawful.

They ruled this was on the grounds the drafters of those documents failed to take into account the risk to elderly and vulnerable residents from non-symptomatic transmission, which had been highlighted by Sir Patrick Vallance in a radio interview as early as March 13th.

Sir Patrick told the Today programme that “it’s quite likely that there is some degree of asymptomatic transmission”.

A barrister representing Dr. Gardner, from Sidmouth in Devon, and Ms. Harris, from Medstead in Hampshire, told the court at a hearing in March that more than 20,000 elderly or disabled care home residents died from Covid between March and June 2020 in England and Wales.

Jason Coppel QC also said in a written case outline for the judicial review that the care home population was known to be “uniquely vulnerable” to Covid.

“The Government’s failure to protect it, and positive steps taken by the Government which introduced COVID-19 infection into care homes, represent one of the most egregious and devastating policy failures in the modern era,” he added.

Worth reading in full.

“Show Us the Data”: High Court Demands Austrian Government Justify COVID-19 Restrictions

Austria’s powerful Constitutional Court has demanded detailed data from the Government Health Ministry justifying the coronavirus response. News.com.au has the story.

The 14-member court issued 10 sets of questions to the Health Ministry on January 26th in order to prepare for a “possible oral hearing” into a number of complaints it has received against Austria’s COVID-19 measures.

The Health Ministry has until February 18th to respond.

Austria plans to ease some restrictions from Tuesday as its nationwide vaccine mandate, the first in Europe, comes into effect.

But in order to justify his Government’s heavy-handed rules, the court has asked Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein to provide data across a broad range of topics including hospitalisations and deaths ‘with’ as opposed to ‘from’ COVID-19, the efficacy of masks and vaccines, and evidence supporting the now-rescinded ‘lockdown for the unvaccinated’.

“The ‘lockdown for the unvaccinated’ is likely to be based, among other things, on the consideration that persons without Covid vaccination have a higher risk of hospitalisation than vaccinated persons, which is likely to entail a higher risk for the healthcare system,” the court wrote.

“What is the effect of the ‘lockdown for the unvaccinated on the hospital burden, expressed in percentages?”

The court asked for information on which virus variants were associated with these numbers, a breakdown by age cohort, and for “percentage allocation” outlining where infections occurred, such as family, work, shopping or leisure activities.

Another question asked, “By what factor does wearing an FFP2 mask indoors or outdoors reduce the risk of infection or transmission?”

A number of other questions related to vaccines, with the court requesting data on their efficacy in reducing severe illness, preventing transmission, and the durability of protection.

“By what factor does Covid vaccination reduce the risk of severe disease?” the court wrote.

“In media reports, there was talk of up to 95%. Now, the general risk of dying from Covid-19 (not differentiated by age and health status) currently appears to be 0.1516%.

“What does a stated vaccination efficacy of, for example, 95% refer to? What do absolute and relative risk reduction mean in this context?”

The letter also requested the Covid-related hospitalisation risk over a one-year period for an unvaccinated 25-year-old compared with a double-vaccinated 25-year-old, and the same for a 65-year-old.

It concluded with a question about Austria’s excess mortality statistics.

In December, the Der Standard newspaper reported that there were one-third fewer COVID-19 deaths in 2021 compared with the previous year, but that weekly excess mortality was higher.

“Is this true?” the letter asked. “If so, what was the total excess mortality in 2021 that could not be explained by COVID-19 deaths, and what is the explanation for this excess mortality?”

Austria has seen record high case numbers in recent days, fuelled by the Omicron variant.

Good to see a high court taking a detailed interest in these technical questions, unlike our own largely supine and deferential judiciary. Also good to see an interest in the unexplained wave of non-Covid excess deaths this winter. The Government’s response will be interesting, as will the court’s ruling.

Worth reading in full.

Why Won’t They Release the Data on Child Deaths Following Covid Vaccination?

Parents of children in the 12-17 age group want Government officials to release real-time safety data for Covid vaccines. One mother is so concerned about the possibility that her three children could suffer serious adverse events that she asked the High Court on their behalf to force full public disclosure.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) admits it holds the figures but has not revealed them publicly, so last Thursday parent EF, who cannot be named for legal reasons, put her concerns to Mr Justice Jonathan Swift and asked him to direct the ONS to release the data. Her request was denied.

She said: “I’m not surprised. I feel as though the judge had already made up his mind.”

To those of us in court, it certainly felt as though he had and that no one dared question Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s decisions.

Television and radio presenter Beverley Turner, who helped raise over £100,000 to fund the action and who has been vilified for asking questions about the vaccines’ safety, was also there. She said: “It felt that the judge had already decided the outcome. He was hostile to the plaintiffs and convivial to the defendants. All we’re doing is fighting for transparency and for that, we got a hostile response.”

It is known that Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA Covid vaccines can cause the inflammatory heart conditions myocarditis and pericarditis, mostly in young males, while the Oxford/AstraZeneca can cause blood clots and strokes. We do not know to what extent, and whether children have died or been permanently disabled as the result of a Covid vaccination.

Update on Legal Challenge to the Lockdown Regulations

Robin Tilbrook, the solicitor leading one of the legal challenges of the Government’s Lockdown Regulations, has been given a date for an oral permissions hearing for his Judicial Review, which is April 22nd. The hearing, which will decide whether his case can proceed, will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand. He has written a guest post for Lockdown Sceptics describing the history of this particular challenge.

I am grateful for all the support that has been given to bringing our Judicial Review case against the ever changing, and multiplying, Lockdown Regulations. I thought you might like to know where I have got to in the process.

I issued the Judicial Review in October. The Ministry of Justice has taken four months to get us to the point where we got our first Order on Permission. In the meanwhile the Government has put in its Defence and I have put in a Reply pointing out the many errors and omissions in the Government’s Defence.

Our case is principally that removing healthy peoples’ liberty is a breach of the English Constitution set out, in among other places, the Bill of Rights 1688 and as vigorously confirmed in Thoburn v Sunderland City Council (DC) [2002] EWHC 195 (Admin), which makes clear that even an Act of Parliament cannot lawfully override constitutional rights (let alone mere Ministerial Regulations).

The first Order that we have obtained was from Mr Justice Holman, who it turns out is not only a Family Division Judge, but also, when in practice as a barrister, specialised in Family Law. He was therefore an interesting choice for the Ministry of Justice to pick as our Judge on a detailed constitutional case! His decision was full of demonstrable errors, which our Counsel has set out in our Notice of Renewal requesting an oral hearing.

I have now been notified of our hearing date in the Royal Courts of Justice, which is on April 22nd.

While all this has been going on we have had generous support for our Crowd Justice Appeal, where you can also find of all the legal documents in the case and read all about it!

This support has enabled me to issue a second Judicial Review to further challenge all the yet further changes that have been made to the Regulations over the last three months.

It has been calculated that the Government has been making changes to the Regulations ever since they first came out in late March 2020 approximately every 4½ days. So with that level of churning of the Regulations you can see that it is quite a job even to keep up with the latest versions of what are often very similar but rebadged Regulations. Perhaps the Government are deliberately churning their Regulations to make it more difficult to challenge them in court!