In Goodenough v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police  EWHC 695 (QB) , the High Court, Turner J, considered a claim for damages brought by Robin Goodenough’s mother and sister. The claims arose out of Mr Goodenough’s death on 27 September 2003 following a short car chase and traffic stop. The Claimants asserted that police officers had assaulted Mr Goodenough and that thereafter had been breaches of Article 2 of the Human Rights Act 1998. The case provides useful insights into the approach to be taken when conducting a judicial analysis of incidents such as this and may be relied upon by those arguing that an Art 2 inquest is required in order to meet investigative short comings.
The European Court of Human Rights court held in Gaughran v United Kingdom  ECHR 144 that the police’s indefinite retention of DNA profile, fingerprints and photographs of person convicted of a minor offence without a possibility of review constituted an infringement of Article 8 ECHR (respect for private life). This is the latest in a number of cases where the ECtHR has disagreed with a decision of the Supreme Court and represents a further development of the meaning of “private life”.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 at reg 6(1) create a prohibition against leaving one’s home without reasonable excuse rather than being outside one’s home without reasonable excuse. Not only is that narrower than many people had thought, it shapes the powers of a police constable to direct or remove people to their home, which depends upon the constable considering that they have breached reg 6(1). Furthermore, in criminal proceedings for a breach, it may be that the burden of establishing of the defence of reasonable excuse is on a defendant in Scotland but on the prosecution in the other three home nations.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 were made at 1pm on 26 March 2020 and are now in force. They contain sweeping restrictions never before seen in peacetime in the United Kingdom. They apply to England only and expire in 6 months. They revoke and replace the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 – leaving the business closures in place.
The powers in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 allow a constable to “take such action as is necessary to enforce a premises closure or restriction”. The powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020, schedule 22 (formerly schedule 21 in the Bill) are to enforce a restriction or prohibition on gatherings or events and to close and restrict access to premises during a public health response period. Again, it will allow a constable to “take such action as is necessary to enforce such a restriction, prohibition or closure”. But what does the phrase, “take such action as is necessary to enforce…” mean?