Covid measures will be seen as ‘monument of collective hysteria and folly’ says ex-judge

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The (UK) government has deliberately stoked fear over coronavirus while behaving like an authoritarian regime relying on police state tactics, according to the former supreme court justice Jonathan Sumption.

In his most forceful critique to date of the government’s handling of the pandemic, the outspoken lawyer condemned the way “the British state exercised coercive powers over its citizens on a scale never previously attempted”.

Delivering the Cambridge Freshfields annual law lecture, Lord Sumption said: “The ease with which people could be terrorised into surrendering basic freedoms which are fundamental to our existence … came as a shock to me in March 2020.”

He is not the only former judge recently to lament the loss of effective parliamentary scrutiny of emergency Covid powers. Last month Lady Hale, former president of the supreme court, alleged that MPs and peers had surrendered their role during the coronavirus pandemic.

In his address Sumption said the emergency measures were “the most significant interference with personal freedom in the history of our country”.

Read more at The Guardian.

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