Eight hours before the new 'rule of six' comes into force, affecting everyone in England. Still no publication of the new criminal law yet. Anyone?
This is late even by the standards we have come to expect
Here are the places you might expect to find it, if you are playing 'hunt the new criminal law which is going to impact on tens of millions of people's lives in 8 hours time' along with me


Here is my best guess at what the rules are going to look like - but the devil as always will be in the detail and we don't have it yet. How are people meant to plan the lives around this?
I have also been told that some journalists have been briefed about the detail but are *under embargo* until tomorrow!!!

Difficult to emphasise how ridiculous that is
It's 5:15pm. New laws in force tomorrow. Everyone's (in England) everyday lives affected profoundly. Are they just... not going to publish anything this time?
Perfectly possible they are still arguing over the detail, by the way
Which is what happens when you allow (Parliament! This is on you) the Executive to pass criminal laws without prior approval. No need for prior warning or debate.
Less than six hours to go
I have just realised that waiting for Covid regulations Twitter is an (even more) boring version of waiting for football transfers Twitter
“Announce Regulations!”
I don’t think they have ever been this late. There must be a row going on
Still nothing. Weird. And bad
So this is where we are at 23:08 on the night before the new 'rule of 6' apparently comes into force. The government website says tomorrow. Huge curtailments on everyone in England's private and family lives. And yet, extraondinarily, the laws themselves have not been published!
This is no small thing. Since 26 March, over 50 sets of lockdown laws have been brought in by a flick of Matt Hancock's pen, with no prior parliamentary input or vote, using a procedure which was designed for emergencies but appears to now be a permanent state of affairs...
... Generally, laws have appeared a day or two before they come into force. That in itself is highly problematic, because people need to know and understand the law of the land and this gives them almost no time to do so. But this is the most extreme delay yet.
It is a basic principle of the common law and human rights law that people cannot be punished for laws they cannot access or hope to understand. What will the police do tomorrow? Have the laws come into force without being published? It's a real mess

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More from @AdamWagner1

20 Sep
Have had a quick look at the thread and videos. Seems pretty simple to me - if the police consider that the Standing for Women does not fall within the "protest" exception for the rule of six regulations because they aren't a political body then they are wrong /1
The exception is in Regulation 5(3)(i)

"gathering is for the purposes of protest and—

(i)it has been organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, a public body, or a political body" /2

legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/684/… ImageImage
"Political body" is defined elsewhere in a different law (unhelpfully, how are people meant to follow this?) Is *very* wide.

It includes a "political campaigning organisation" which is any legal person which "promote, or oppose, changes in any law"

legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/649/… /3 Image
Read 5 tweets
18 Sep
Wishing all Jewish people a happy, healthy and sweet new year - and particularly healthy, in the current context x 🍎🍯🐝🐑🐐✡️
And all those non Jewish people who are celebrating too x
Oh alright then, wishing EVERYONE a happy new year because who wouldn't want one?
Read 4 tweets
18 Sep
🚨New emergency law requiring a huge number of businesses etc to take personal details for contact tracing and from next week display a QR Code for people to scan

Contents legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1005…
PDF legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1005…
Here is the explanatory note which basically explains what these do, but doesn't say who/what it applies to. See next tweet /2
Here's what it applies to - huge range of businesses etc

We will from next week have to use govt Contact Tracing app to scan QR code when we go to these places or they must take our details (and can refuse entry if not), which have to kept for 21 days for govt access /3
Read 11 tweets
15 Sep
On @BBCr4today @pritipatel was asked if a family of 4 stoping and chatting with another family of 4 on the way to the park was "mingling" which was banned.

She suggested it was - people listening will think 'mingling' on the way to the park is banned.

This is *wrong* [thread]
The ban on mingling has a specific context and definitely does *not* apply to two families meeting on the way to the park.

It is about events organised by charities/businesses/public authorities where 'qualifying groups' (households up to 6) must not mingle with each other /2
People walking to the park must not form a 'gathering' of more than 6. But that has a different definition

A gathering is where people are "present together... in order to engage in any form of social interaction..."

I doubt people accidentally bumping into each other... /3
Read 15 tweets
14 Sep
Helpfully the team at legislation.gov.uk have now updated the England lockdown regulations to incorporate the 'rule of 6'.

Contents legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/684/…
Regulation 5 legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/684/…
Amazingly, the "simplified" gatherings regulation (as the PM referred to it in his speech last week) has ballooned from 825 to over 2,000 words!

Look at this monster... ImageImageImageImage
(in size not effect)

(I suppose people might disagree on effect)
Read 4 tweets
14 Sep
Thank you for the kind comments about my tweets on the 'rule of 6' regulation, mingling, significant life events etc. I have tried to answer some of the questions I have seen, obviously this is not legal advice, my overall advice is try to follow the guidance as best you can...
... The reality is that although the PM said the rule of 6 is simple, the bevvy of exceptions (which have attached like barnacles on the bottom of a boat since the first 26 March regulations) makes them complex even for lawyers. So unfortunately there won't be clear answers...
... to many questions, what I would suggest is that you try and follow
- the guidance gov.uk/government/pub…
- and the new regulations which more complicated but are the law legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/986/…
And if you really need clarity speak to a lawyer...
Read 6 tweets

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