The British People’s Covid Inquiry

The People’s Covid Inquiry anticipated that any formal public inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic would be significantly delayed. It was a citizens’ tribunal – that is, part legal proceedings, part theater, part public speaking of truth to power – aimed at raising issues at levels more visible than government. or the media were prepared to do it alone. Renowned human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield served as chair. A final report in December 2021 set out conclusions and recommendations based on the evidence gathered.
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Popular survey on the Covid
The People’s Covid inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic in England – misconduct in the public service.

Key findings included that the state of exhaustion of the National Health Service and other public services before the pandemic was a key factor in poor outcomes. Moreover, the government was ill-prepared and reacted too slowly, adopting an incorrect strategy resulting in loss of life and growing distrust of its advice. Furthermore, a consistent failure of government policies to reduce inequalities puts the most vulnerable at high risk of illness and death from COVID-19.

Mansfield’s introduction to the report emphasizes “dismal failure in the face of glaringly obvious risks…When it mattered most and when lives could have been saved, the various postures adopted by the government could not bear the scrutiny… Within this narrative is a theme of behavior amounting to gross government negligence… There have been lives lost and lives devastated, which was foreseeable and preventable. whether it is a lack of preparation and a coherent policy, unreasonable delays, privileged and unnecessary purchases, ministers themselves breaking the rules, the misconduct is heartbreaking”.
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Popular survey on the Covid
The People’s Covid inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic in England – misconduct in the public service.

Anyone in government responsible for health and safety should have been aware of the ever-present risk of a pandemic. This responsibility is well recognized by international and national law; for example, article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,
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UN
Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

Article 1 of the United Nations Charter of 1945,

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UN
[1945UNCharter[1945Chartedel’ONU

and the constitutional provisions of the WHO and the World Health Assembly giving rise to the International Health Regulations.

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WHO
International Health Regulations (2005), 3rd ed.

Articles 12 (1) and (2) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966 state that “States Parties to this Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The measures to be taken by States Parties to this Covenant… include those necessary for… (c) The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases.

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Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The United Kingdom ratified this treaty in 1976.

For conduct to qualify under the criminal law as misconduct in the performance of a public duty, it must be serious enough to constitute an abuse of public trust in the office holder and an affront to the reputation of the public office held. The People’s Covid Inquiry concluded ministers did indeed have a case to answer.

I’m co-chair of Keep Our NHS Public, the organization that designed and coordinated the People’s Covid Inquiry.

The references

  1. 1.

    The People’s Covid inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic in England – misconduct in the public service.

    Popular survey on the Covid,
    London2021

  2. 2.

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

  3. 3.

    [1945UNCharter[1945Chartedel’ONU

  4. 4.

    International Health Regulations (2005), 3rd ed.

  5. 5.
    • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

    International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

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