Legislative and judicial scrutiny of the emergency response to the pandemic in the UK: stubborn accountability gaps

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Abstract

I am thankful for having the opportunity comment on the thought provoking and insightful papers by Adam Tomkins and by Tom Hickman and Joe Tomlinson. Both explore the practice of legal and political accountability in the UK and raise serious questions concerning their effectiveness to hold government to account in the emergency context. The history that emerges is too familiar in emergency contexts, namely one of an empowered government exercising delegated law-making powers subject to the weakest form of legislative scrutiny. Of a legislature that is unable to shape policy choices and to scrutinise governmental decision-making in meaningful ways. And of courts generally being unable and unwilling to fill –even to a limited extent– these accountability gaps due to the fast pace of coronavirus regulation-making, which results in most claims becoming academic by the time the courts consider them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-321
Number of pages12
JournalEdinburgh Law Review
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • parliamentary scrutiny
  • judicial review
  • pandemic
  • Covid-19

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