14 November 2020 - 10:45 am
In the document (COV0220) entitled “Compulsory vaccination for Covid-19 and human rights law” and dated 22/07/2020, they (the academics) base their case on two key principles based on “parity arguments”. There is the “lockdown parity argument”, and the “mental health parity argument”. For the first, they summarise the position as this:
It is arguable that if ‘lockdown’ restrictions are compatible with human rights law, so too is compulsory vaccination. Current public health law rules out medical treatment, including vaccination, but permits extensive restrictions on personal activity, such as free movement and association. The law privileges the interest in bodily integrity over other liberties. The lockdown parity argument asks for a justification for treating bodily integrity as distinctively important relative to these other interests.Page 7 – https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/9253/pdf/
For the second they summarise as follows:
The law permits compulsory interference with bodily integrity under mental health law. This derogation from the common law principle of no treatment without consent is compatible with the ECHR. It is arguable that if compulsory treatment under mental health law is compatible with human rights law, so too is compulsory vaccination. Importantly, the same protected interest—that in bodily integrity—is at stake in the two contexts the mental health parity argument compares.Page 8 – https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/9253/pdf/
The ECHR referred to is the European Convention on Human Rights, which are domestically enforceable in the UK under the Human Rights Act 1998. Those are the rights they are seeking to circumvent in this document. To attempt to do that they are leveraging the Mental Health Act 1983, the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and the Coronavirus Act 2020.
There are also citations like the article by Jeff King on the UK Constitutional Law website claiming that the lockdown is lawful based on his reading of the PHA 1984 Act. This article is not especially well argued and makes the (possibly deliberate) mistake of claiming that the reference to “a person” and “groups of persons” somehow means “all persons” which it clearly does not. This fallacious article is used as supporting evidence for the case put forward in the compulsory vaccination argument.
The argument they present essentially boils down to the following:
- The lockdown is legal and doesn’t break any human rights laws as the lockdown is justified by means of the claim that it’s the Government’s duty to protect, and the virus presents a greater infringement of humans rights than the measures taken to combat it, i.e. lockdowns. Therefore compulsory vaccination can use the exact same justification to sidestep the human rights laws.
- It is legal to force medication/treatment on the mentally ill, including injecting things into the body without their consent. Therefore compulsory vaccination can use the same justification to sidestep human rights laws.
It does take some mental gymnastics, deliberately vague wording of the Acts cited, and a certain type of person to make this argument, but never let it be said that Governments aren’t resourceful in finding the very kinds of people you need for this type of thing. Still it does help when you can extort the very people you’re going to abuse to pay for the best loophole finders money can buy and when you run out of that money just invent it out of thin air.
Interestingly the document (COV0220) does acknowledge the following:
The legal regime for treatment without consent under the Mental Health Act 1983 derogates from the common law requirement that individuals (who are so able) must give consent in order for medical treatment to be lawful.Page 4 – https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/9253/pdf/
The reference to the partial suppression (derogation) of “common law” is noteworthy, and while these matters are complex and there are many claims about the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, Common Law as opposed to statutes, legislation and so on, it would appear that there are some underlying Laws that cannot be simply overridden by Parliament, regardless of whether they call it law, legislation, an Act of Parliament or whatever.
Of course, clear and concise information on things like that is hard to find, but it does seem worth researching.