Retired Supreme Court judge Calls Draconian Coronavirus Measures ‘Tyrannical’
A former British Supreme Court judge has called coronavirus curbs tyrannical and a ‘breathtaking’ infringement of democratic rights.
Lord Sumption is accusing the government of ‘propaganda and stoking fear’ about the coronavirus in order to impose draconian measures on the public.
He also warns that lockdowns and other Government-imposed Coronavirus measures contain all the ingredients of totalitarianism
The Mail Online reports: Orders to remain at home and rafts of new laws to restrict what people can do amount to a ‘breathtaking’ infringement of democratic rights, Lord Sumption will say in a speech tonight.
He has repeatedly warned that ministers have been exceeding their rightful powers but these criticisms are his strongest yet.
He will tell the Cambridge Law Faculty that the use of coercion to try to quell the pandemic is unprecedented in British history, even in wartime, and that it runs against basic freedoms.
Lord Sumption will accuse ministers of using the police to suppress opposition to their policies, of creating new criminal offences without the legal right to do so, and of grabbing unconstitutional powers by issuing misleading guidance.
He is to say the methods used by ministers will undo the unity of society and will lead to long-term authoritarian government.
Lord Sumption will say that ministers avoided Parliament through the Public Health Act which let them introduce lockdowns and other measures without the same level of scrutiny by the House of Commons or Lords.
Giving the Cambridge Freshfields annual law lecture, he will accuse the Government of ‘tendentiously’ presenting guidance as if it was law – such as the two-metre social distancing rule.
He will also say the Government gave police ‘unprecedented discretionary’ enforcement powers, some of which were used to suppress opposition to its policies, The Telegraph reports.
Lord Sumption will speak of new criminal offences brought into being on the ‘mere say-so of ministers’, with the fines of up to £10,000 ‘truly breathtaking’ constitutionally.
This has been achieved through the ‘language of impending doom’, ‘alarmist’ projections and statistical manipulation, he will say.
He will also give a chilling warning that the Government’s actions pose a severe threat to reshape the relationship between the state and the public in a shift to a more authoritarian style of politics, which will survive past the current crisis.
The intervention comes amid growing tension over rules meant to reduce infections, such as the Tier Three restrictions in northern England.
Lord Sumption, who stepped down from the Supreme Court in 2018, will warn that the effects of coronavirus coercion are corrosive of democracy and will lead to resentment among those worst affected, including the poor and the young.
He will warn that the methods used by ministers will undo the unity of society and will lead to long-term authoritarian government.