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COVID-19 and the changing face of UK Law

  • Date

    Mon 6 Apr 20

An Essex PhD student is looking at the impact of COVID-19 on the UK's legal system, building an important resource for the future.

Lee Marsons, a PhD candidate in the School of Law, has been charting the “unprecedented” number of legal and administrative responses since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

By the beginning of April, he had already recorded over 200 changes.

Marsons describes the impact-to-date as “massive”, adding, “The most obvious changes have been in relation to the powers given to the executive, especially the police, to restrict freedom of movement and freedom of assembly.

“Additionally, the new Coronavirus Act gives government the power to suspend ordinary state duties of fundamental importance, such as providing care support to children, the elderly, and the disabled. But the implications extend beyond this and affect matters that are central to the rule of law, including way the courts will operate.

The project, supported by the UK Administrative Justice Institute, will continue to record changes, and look at which have become either permanent or long-term, as resources allow.

Lee Marsons said: “As well as being presently important, we are building a potentially vital resource to be used when we look back, to make sense of this extraordinary period.”