Written evidence from Dr Lisa Forsberg*, Dr Isra Black**, Dr Thomas Douglas*, Dr Jonathan Pugh* (COV0220)
Compulsory vaccination for Covid-19 and human rights law 5 Introduction and summary
We are academics working in the areas of philosophy and law, with specialisations in, inter alia, moral and political philosophy, biomedical ethics, health law, and human rights law.
Our submission pertains to compulsory Covid-19 vaccination:1 a requirement on 10 individuals to undergo vaccination as a condition of release from pandemic-related
2 Our evidence is forward-looking. We expect that a Covid-19 vaccine will become
3 available in sufficient quantity to enable population-wide immunisation. At that stage,
the Government will need to consider the means of delivery, including whether it is 15 necessary to legislate for compulsory vaccination. We consider the human rights law dimensions of compulsory vaccination by reference to the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights. As such, our submission primarily
addresses a live issue the second question in the Committee’s call for evidence:
What will the impact of specific measures taken by Government to address the 20 Covid-19 pandemic be on human rights in the UK?
Our evidence takes the following form:
1. A discussion of the reasons why compulsory vaccination may need to be considered; 2. An overview of relevant legal provisions;
3. An examination of the human rights law compliance of compulsory vaccination.
25 Our analysis under 3 establishes two parity arguments:
a. If Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ measures are compatible with human rights law, then it is
30 arguable that compulsory vaccination is too (lockdown parity argument);
b. If compulsory medical treatment under mental health law for personal and public protection purposes is compatible with human rights law, then it is arguable that
compulsory vaccination is too (mental health parity argument).