Almost 5,500 people have committed to funding a legal challenge against the government’s lockdown policy, it was revealed today.

The Crowdjustice campaign, led by businessman Simon Dolan, has now raised more than £182,000 and is set to go before the High Court on 2 July. The court will hear an application for permission to seek judicial review, with Dolan represented by Michael Gardner of London firm Wedlake Bell, Philip Havers QC of One Crown Office Row and barrister Francis Hoar of Field Court Chambers.

Dolan owns or part-owns 10 businesses in the UK employing 600 people, and he argues there has been no democratic process for imposing the lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic. His stated aim is to scrutinise the government’s response and for lockdown to end immediately.

The judicial review will seek to challenge the government on three main points:

  • Whether 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.
  • The legality of the continuation of lockdown, and whether the tests for lifting it are too narrow, failing to take account of the economic and social impacts of lockdown.
  • Whether the restrictions brought in by the government contravene European Convention rights to liberty, family life, education and property. 

Dolan said: ‘July 2 will be just over 100 days since lockdown and what has happened every day in this period underlines how important the judicial review is.

'In that time, £2.5bn has been wiped off the UK economy each day, millions of children are shut out of school, the NHS faces a waiting list explosion, and the freedoms of everyone in the UK have been trampled over. In all this time, the government has shown the agility of a beached whale.’

Ironically, the lockdown itself means that Dolan will not physically be in court – instead the hearing will take place via video link with the public and media given access to follow proceedings.