In order to seek to control the impact of Covid-19, the Government has introduced successive restrictive measures, with varying degrees of severity, both nationally and locally. The impact of these measures has been widely felt, and some groups have been more affected than others.
As part of the ongoing work into the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Joint Committee on Human Rights is examining the impact of lockdown restrictions on human rights and whether those measures only interfere with human rights to the extent that is necessary and proportionate. In particular, we are interested in the impact of long lockdown on certain communities.
The Committee is seeking views on:
- The impact of lockdown on university students. Have interferences with students’ right to liberty and right to private and family life been proportionate? Have the fixed penalty notices issued to students been proportionate?
- The impact of lockdown on the freedom of religion and belief, and in particular on collective worship. Have interferences with the freedom of religion and belief been proportionate?
- Care Home and Hospital Visits. Has current Government guidance struck the correct balance between the right to private and family life and the right to life? Is it being applied fairly and consistently in practice?
- The human rights impacts of extended lockdown restrictions on those areas subjected to the most stringent, lasting, lockdown conditions. What have been the human rights impacts on family life and mental health for those communities? Are there ways that these rights might be better addressed?
- Policing of Lockdown. Is the use of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for lockdown offences proportionate, fair and non-discriminatory? Is it clear why FPNs have been issued and are there adequate ways to seek a review or appeal of an FPN? Are the amounts of FPN fines proportionate? Has there been a disproportionate impact on certain groups?
- The right to protest and lockdown. How have lockdown restrictions affected the right to protest? Has the correct balance been struck?
Please send submissions of no more than 1,500 words through the online portal by 11 January 2021.