Contractor industry boss, Simon Dolan, launches Judicial Review against Coronavirus lockdown
Simon Dolan, a contractor industry heavyweight for over 25 years and an active forum contributor to ContractorUK, is launching a Judicial Review against the UK government over the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.
The accounting boss and entrepreneur is seeking the legal challenge over the prime minister's measures which continue to impose "severe restrictions on personal liberties" and have put the economy at a standstill.
He believes that the Boris Johnson-ordered lockdown has had a significantly adverse impact on freelancers and contractors -- workers who are widely seen as being given too little financial support from the government since the Coronavirus outbreak took hold in March.
The legal challenge
Lawyers for Mr Dolan, the managing director of Dolan Accountancy, seek to challenge the government on three main points:
1) Whether the lockdown is unlawful because the government implemented regulations under the Public Health Act 1984, instead of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 or the Coronavirus Act 2020
2) The legality of the continuation of the lockdown regulation, and whether the tests are too narrow, failing to take account of the economic and social impacts of lockdown
3) If the restrictions brought in by the government contravene the European Convention of Human Rights, which cover the right to liberty, family life, education and property.
Mr Dolan is calling for an immediate change to allow schools to be re-opened, allow gatherings of up to 100 people and review lockdown restrictions every two weeks.
The Judicial Review action echoes that taken by businesswoman Gina Miller over Brexit, and are on the grounds that the government's decisions were both legally defective and disproportionate in law.
'Small firms badly affected'
In his JR, Mr Dolan argues that the lockdown continues to “paralyse the country, wreck the economy and cause long term damage.”
“We are asking if the process was legal, who took the decision and what data and information was used. Small businesses continue to be badly affected. Businesses have been forced to shut, furlough staff and make cuts just in an attempt to survive."
The entrepreneur added: “Lockdown is taking a huge toll on mental health. Calls to the national Domestic Abuse helpline are up 49 per cent while referrals for cancer tests have fallen by 76 per cent.
"Every life lost is a tragedy. But we have seen other nations deal with the pandemic effectively without such draconian measures. Sweden chose to trust its citizens with sustainable tactics”.
The accounting boss also owns a charter airline company, Jota Aviation, which has been delivering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the NHS from abroad.
'Lot of people behind you'
A crowd justice campaign has been launched to support his campaign which you can donate to here. At the time of going to press, over 50% of the £30,000 target had already been raised in less than a day.
Reaction on Twitter to Mr Dolan's legal bid has been significant, and generated a mixed response. A supporter said: “You have a lot of people behind you. Good luck!!”. Others have tweeted about whether the timing is right for a Judicial Review at the moment.
Informally known as the 'Twitter Dragon' after he invested in start-ups who successfully pitched to him on the platform, the 50-year-old is the founder of SJD Accountancy which he sold over five years ago, before he launched the award-winning Dolan Accountancy, a specialist in contractor accounting.