Covid-19 and the criminal law Contents

2The enforcement of covid-19 offences

47.Enforcement of covid-19 criminal offences has proved a significant challenge for the Government, the police, the public and the courts in England and Wales. The Government has had to ensure that covid-19 offences are enforced, but also that the public support and comply with the law.

48.The Government’s legislative scheme for enforcing covid-19 offences in the regulations largely relied upon fixed penalty notices (FPNs) (see Annex 1 for summary of covid-19 related FPNs and their fine values). The scheme was designed to deter people from committing offences without criminalising large numbers of people.51 The police have used the flexibility of the rules, and a ‘four Es’ strategy (engage, explain, encourage, enforce) to deliver compliance with the restrictions. Both the number of FPNs issued and prosecutions for covid-19 offences through the courts since the start of the pandemic would appear to indicate that the level of compliance with the restrictions has been high. Nevertheless, important lessons may be learned from how covid-19 offences have worked in practice.

Fixed penalty notices

49.Fixed penalty notices play an important role in the legal system of England and Wales. For example, the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 establishes a system of fixed penalty notices to allow motorists the opportunity to discharge liability for conviction of a fixed penalty offence. Fixed penalty notices issued for offences under the covid-19 regulations are non-recordable, so whether the notice is paid or contested, it will not be recorded on the Police National Computer.52 The Frequently Asked Questions on the ACRO website explains that “Local records may be held by the relevant force”.53 The policing Minister, Kit Malthouse, explained that the decision was made to rely on fixed penalty notices for covid-19 offences because they are a “known science”: “from speeding to dog fouling or littering, an FPN is an easy and quick way to make an enforcement point that we felt would be recognised and understood by the public”.54

50.Kit Malthouse told us that the fixed penalty notice system was “designed to be relatively light touch”.55 He emphasised that the police would issue a fixed penalty notice as a last resort and that there was a discount available for early payment. He explained the logic behind the system:

Much of the notion behind FPNs is almost a psychological game. We put up dog fouling notices everywhere that say someone will be issued with an FPN, but in fact, if you look at boroughs across the UK, hardly any of them ever issue one of these things. They just never get issued. It is a psychological game that is being played. While I understand that your Committee will naturally be concerned about the integrity of the system, I do not think that, as yet, we are able to point to anything unusual about covid FPNs that we do not see with other FPNs.56

Lord Bethell added that the Government’s approach sought to explore “the very fine line between trying to communicate really clear signals and clamping down on excess behaviours, but not criminalising behaviour, at which point we feared that we might lose the sentiments of the public”.57

51.Daniel Greenberg CB, Counsel for Domestic Legislation at the House of Commons, argued that that the use of fixed penalty notices for covid-19 offences was problematic, and that “civil penalties always raise a number of rule of law issues”:

it is questionable whether most members of the public understand the distinction between a civil penalty and a criminal penalty in general and, in particular, whether they are under an obligation to accept the penalty rather than argue the case before the court. Since there has been a lack of clarity as to what regulations applied to specific situations at what times, there is evidence that local authorities and police forces have on some occasions misunderstood the commencement, application and other aspects of particular regulations. So there are concerns that people may have paid in response to fixed penalty notices issued on the basis of misunderstandings by police officers or other officials, without appreciating their right to challenge the question of breach of the regulations before a magistrate.58

52.Daniel Greenberg also argued that civil penalties raise “inequality issues”:

[a]s they can be seen to amount in effect to prohibitions that apply only to people for whom the sums charged by way of penalty notice are significant. A person planning a wedding that may cost many tens of thousands of pounds, faced with a £10,000 penalty will simply budget that into the overall costs, as a risk amply justified by the benefit of holding a large celebration in breach of the regulations. They will be undeterred by a mere civil penalty in circumstances where potential criminal liability might well have deterred them, because of the reputational and other consequences of a criminal record, consequences that do not attach to the imposition of a civil penalty.

[…] As well as reflecting and enhancing socio-economic inequality, this feature of the use of civil penalties to enforce coronavirus regulations is likely to have diminished respect in the minds of some members of the public for the system as a whole (and, indeed, for the rule of law).

53.While these issues are common to all uses of civil penalties, Daniel Greenberg suggested that they were exacerbated in the context of covid-19 offences “because of the greater subjectivity involved in many of the prohibitions”,

Where traffic officers hand out civil penalty notices for infractions of parking prohibitions, they are generally relying on objective criteria with little or no room for discretion or interpretation and little or no room for dispute (although there will often be evidential problems arising out of difficulties in ascertaining and recording the facts). Imposing penalties for prohibitions which depend on an officer’s understanding of what amounts to a reasonable excuse, or whether accommodation is “suitable” for isolation, or even as to what constitutes a “gathering”, gives a much greater degree of discretion and therefore power to non-judicial officers […]59

We note, though, this is not always the case—for example, in relation to the FPN for drunk and disorderly for which a judgment must be made as to whether someone has behaved in an “unruly” or “offensive” manner.

54.Fixed penalty notices have an established role in our legal system, for example for road traffic offences, but the context of new covid-19 offences is different from many of these offences and curtailed freedoms considered fundamental in a democratic society. We recognise that fixed penalty notices played a valuable role in policing the pandemic. However, in principle, when offences in question are complex, difficult to apply and give rise to significant sanctions, it should ordinarily be the responsibility of a court, rather than an official to determine liability. Any future review considering alternative approaches should give due weight to this.

£10,000 fixed penalty notices

55.One of the most controversial fixed penalty notices was the £10,000 fine introduced for unauthorised gatherings of more than 30 people.60 The government explained that this level of fine was designed to act as a deterrent and to communicate the serious public health consequences of holding such an event.61 Lord Bethell explained that “it felt like it was on the right side of being reasonable without throwing the rule book or using the heavy hand of the law”.62 Kit Malthouse mentioned the example of Rita Ora, a popstar who was reported to have breached covid-19 rules by holding a party in November 2020.63 He suggested that in that case, a fine of £10,000 “might be proportionate given that she is a very talented performer with enormous success internationally”.64

56.As fixed penalty notices are usually used to punish low-level offences such as driving offences, littering and graffiti, the level of fine tends to also be relatively minor. For example, being drunk and disorderly in public can be punished by a penalty notice for disorder (PND), which is a type of fixed penalty notice available in England and Wales. The penalty for being drunk and disorderly in public is £90.65 By comparison, a £10,000 first offence fixed penalty notice, over which the police or other enforcement officers have no discretion as to the amount (unlike a court), could be seen to be considerably more punitive.

57.Sir Jonathan Jones suggested that, although there will have been advice given and assessment of what the right level of fines should be, it was unclear how much consultation there would have been prior to the introduction of new fines such as the £10,000 fine, or comparison with other similar offences to determine a proportionate level.66 He suggested that the very high levels of fines will have been used “to underlie how seriously [Ministers] view certain types of conduct”:

We know that sometimes Ministers want to use legislation to send a message about how seriously they view a particular offence. I suspect that has been happening. Normally, it is quite a bad use of legislation to send a message. I understand that sometimes Ministers want to do it.67

58.Concern was expressed to us about the scale of the £10,000 fine issued as an instant FPN. Big Brother Watch argued that “a fine of this magnitude would be life-changing for most individuals” and that “given the justifiable confusion around the legal restrictions, a fine of this amount is disproportionate”.68 Big Brother Watch noted that “fines issued by a court are often means tested but result in a criminal record, leaving people to choose between a £10,000 FPN or the risk of a criminal conviction.”69 Tristan Kirk, courts correspondent at the Evening Standard, and Pippa Woodrow, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, agreed that offences that were deemed appropriate to be considered for a £10,000 fine should not be dealt with by way of simple fixed penalty notice; “if it is considered to be such a serious offence that that kind of penalty is to be considered, it needs to be treated a little more seriously, perhaps with a court hearing”.70 Tristan Kirk also suggested that, given the “confused way” in which the offences were dealt with during the pandemic, it was more appropriate for a court hearing to consider problems before any kind of penalty was administered.71

59.A £10,000 fine for a criminal offence is a penalty so large that only a court should issue it. When a court issues a fine, it takes into account the financial circumstances of an individual; this is not the case with fixed penalty notices.

60.We recognise that, due to the reliance on the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act as the legislative framework for creating new offences, the Government was limited in its options to create new offences. A lesson from the covid-19 pandemic for future pandemic preparedness is therefore that the Government needs to have a greater range of options at its disposal to introduce public health restrictions swiftly in a proportionate and predictable way. In future the Government should not solely rely upon fixed penalty notices of increasing magnitude to deliver compliance with public health restrictions. For example, given the seriousness of the offence of holding a large unauthorised gathering in a pandemic, the Government should consider developing alternative means of ensuring compliance that does not rely on a fixed penalty notice of £10,000.

61.The Government should conduct a review of fixed penalty notices for covid-19 offences. The review should consider:

These terms of reference could be considered as part of our suggested review by the UKHSA.

The error rate and unpaid fixed penalty notices

62.We received evidence expressing concern about the level of error in the enforcement of covid-19 offences. The highest level of error came under charges brought under the Coronavirus Act; Pippa Woodrow noted at the time of her giving evidence 100% of the people who had been charged under that Act (approximately 250 people) had been wrongly prosecuted.72 She also said that under the public health regulations “there has been a concerning level of error and confusion”.73

63.The campaign group Fair Trials argued that the error rate in the prosecutions of offences in the regulations was unacceptable and that these errors “are putting fundamental rights and justice at risk in this crisis and threatening trust in the criminal justice system”.74 Fairs Trials also suggested that “the entire strategy of using new criminal offences to police a public health issue should also be reviewed”.75

64.The Crown Prosecution Service told us that as of February 2021, 84% of prosecutions resulting from failure to pay or accept a fixed penalty notice were correctly charged (1,132 out of 1345 prosecutions).76 The latest CPS figures, which cover March 2020 to June 2021, showed that 20% (or 389) of the 1,920 cases reviewed since the start of the pandemic were incorrectly charged.77 National Police Chiefs’ Council figures as of 28 June 2021 show that 117,213 notices have been given out in England and Wales since 27 March 2020.78 There has been no external review to establish how many of these notices were correctly given.

65.On 25 August 2020, the Attorney General wrote to the chair of the Committee to provide an update on the number of fixed penalty notices that were unpaid and falling to be considered for prosecution.79 At the time, the data indicated that almost 50% of fixed penalty notices were not paid within the 28-day period and fell to be considered for prosecution:

We asked the Government to provide up-to-date data on the number of FPNs that have fallen to be considered for prosecution, but in a letter dated 24 June 2021 Lord Wolfson told us that the data is not yet publicly available and will be published later in the year.80

66.Big Brother Watch claimed that “around 50% of fixed penalty notices have been unpaid across England and Wales, leading to a pending prosecution crisis”.81 They cited data obtained through an Freedom of Information Request by the Daily Mail which showed that nine forces saw 60% or more of the penalties go unpaid within 28 days between March 27 and September 21.82 The highest proportion of unpaid fines was in the Cleveland force area, where 72% of fines for the period, 215 out of 298, went unpaid.83 Tristan Kirk, courts correspondent at the Evening Standard, provided written evidence which set out the data obtained by a Freedom of Information Request to the National Police Chiefs Council and ACRO Criminal Records Office which showed that in 2020 the Metropolitan Police issued fines totalling £3,625,440 but received £538,100 in payments so far.84

67.The Metropolitan Police said that “the payment proportions for Regulation No1 FPNs published by the NPCC in September are broadly in line with what we would expect for other types of FPNs, such as for traffic offences”.85 Kit Malthouse made the same point to us.86

68.The high error rate of charges brought under the Coronavirus Act and the public health regulations illustrates the importance of the need for future pandemic planning to consider the role of the criminal law.

69.We recognise that the rates of payment for covid-19 related fixed penalty notices are broadly in line with what is expected for other types of fixed penalty notices such as traffic offences. However, given the high profile and pertinent nature of these penalties during the pandemic, we think the public would be concerned to know that the majority of people who were given a fixed penalty notice were either given the notice in error, or were given one correctly but have escaped any penalty.

70.In its response to this report the Government should provide us with data on:

The internal review process

71.Kit Malthouse described the process after an FPN is issued:

The force has to review the FPN. It goes off to ACRO, which reviews it. If it comes back unpaid to the force, they review it again to make sure it’s compliant. The individual can make representations to the force and, as Lord Wolfson said, in the end it can go to court, and they can make their representations there if they wish.87

The Frequently Asked Questions on ACRO’s website suggest that it is not possible to dispute an FPN by making representations to the relevant force or ACRO:

I want to appeal/dispute or have my case reviewed/cancelled within the 28 days, and do not want to go to court. Is this possible?

No. There is no facility to appeal or dispute. You can only contest and request a court hearing.88

However, the website also says that if you dispute an FPN, the police will review it before deciding whether or not to charge the case:

After the 28 day window outlined in your letter has passed without payment, we will return your case to the force. We will inform them of your contest request and forward any supporting information/evidence that you have provided.

The force will then review your case and decide whether to withdraw the fine or proceed the matter to court.

72.The guidance on ACRO Criminal Records Office’s website is ambiguous. It should be made clearer to reflect the fact that contesting a fixed penalty notice does trigger a review by the relevant police force. If someone has a good reason to suspect that a fixed penalty notice has been issued in error, they should be made aware of the fact that a contest request will not necessarily result in a prosecution.

73.Pippa Woodrow told us that in some cases, representations made by the recipient of a fixed penalty notice can lead to its being withdrawn by the police. She also emphasised that individual police forces took different approaches to responding to challenges to fixed penalty notices:

Some forces have been prepared to engage with that process, and where mistakes have very obviously been made they have been prepared to withdraw the fines, or in some cases to withdraw those fines and reissue fines for a more appropriate offence, for example. Other forces have been very resistant to any invitation to review fixed penalty notices, even in cases where they can offer absolutely no substantive justification for having issued a fixed penalty notice and where it is absolutely clear that a mistake has been made. The position effectively has been, “Well, the notice has been issued. If you want to avoid paying it, that’s entirely up to you. You have an opportunity. You have a remedy because you can simply go to the magistrates court and plead your case there.89

Pippa Woodrow argued that where it is clear that a mistake has been made in issuing an FPN, requiring someone to undergo a criminal prosecution is unreasonable.90 She argued that in practice the result was that a recipient of an FPN, who might have good reason to challenge, was likely to pay the fine rather the risk criminal proceedings, especially when considering cost of being represented in the magistrates’ court.91 Joshua Rozenberg QC, the legal journalist agreed and told us that a formal appeal process that enabled an FPN to be challenged was needed.92

74.Kit Malthouse, the policing Minister, defended the lack of a formal appeal process:

We need to bear it in mind that this was designed to be a proportionate system, not just for the individuals concerned but, frankly, for us as taxpayers, so that we were not involved in a massive machinery of appeal and all the rest of it and that we would follow broadly the same situation we do with other FPNs, whether they are for dog fouling or speeding, which is this: you get an offer, and you can pay the fine early and get a discount, or you can dispute it or not pay it. And at some point, you get the right to end up in front of m’learned friends, who will decide the merits of your case or otherwise. Given the level of the fine, it seems perfectly reasonable to me.93

75.We acknowledge the policing Minister’s point about proportionality but are concerned that the review process for covid-19 related fixed penalty notices was inconsistently applied by different police forces and unclear. For future use of fixed penalty notices the Government should ensure that the review process that enables an individual to challenge a notice without risking a criminal prosecution or incurring additional costs is clearly and consistently articulated.

76.We asked Lord Wolfson, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Justice, whether a defendant who has not paid an FPN would be informed by ACRO if the relevant police force decides not to prosecute or if the time limit for bringing a prosecution expires. In a letter to the Committee, Lord Wolfson explained that the 3 year limitation period, which is set out in the Act only applied in a situation where “if an offence were to come to the notice of the police for the first time after six months had elapsed—for example through material uploaded to YouTube or reported by an informant—the police could still prosecute provided no more than three years had elapsed”.94 Lord Wolfson confirmed that “police forces must notify ACRO Criminal Records Office if they decide not to proceed, and ACRO will send a letter as such to the defendant”.95 For covid-19 related offences a recipient of a fixed penalty notice, who does not pay the fine within 28 days should be told promptly if a police force decides not to charge. A recipient of a fixed penalty notice should also be told when the limitation period for prosecution will expire.

The single justice procedure

77.The single justice procedure (SJP) is a court procedure that enables the police to serve a notice and evidence upon the accused in a magistrates court without their attendance at court for certain summary-only non-imprisonable offences.96 A judge can accept a written response indicating a guilty plea by post and issue a fine. If no response to the charge is submitted, a magistrate can try the accused on the evidence served in their absence and, on finding the person guilty, issue a fine. Single justice procedure cases are decided in private by a single magistrate and a legal adviser, and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not play a role. A person served with a single justice procedure notice can opt out of the process by requesting a hearing or by pleading not guilty. Any defendant who was unaware of proceedings may re-open them by swearing a statutory declaration to that effect, which can render the proceedings void.

78.The single justice procedure was introduced by the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. When the proposals were going through the Commons, the then Justice Minister, Shailesh Vara MP said that the procedure would deal with “low-level, routine offences”.97 He also added: “We have made it very clear that we must not lose transparency as a result of these reforms, and we cannot allow the new process to take place without any scrutiny”.98

79.Since the start of the pandemic, the Government has used secondary legislation to “specify” the covid-19 criminal offences to enable them to be dealt with by the single justice procedure. The CPS’ evidence explains:

Under section 3 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) must take over the conduct of all criminal proceedings instituted on behalf of a police force, unless the proceedings are specified in an Order made by the Attorney General under section 3(3).

Specified proceedings are subject to the SJP, which is a police-led prosecution that applies solely to summary only, non-imprisonable offences, where the defendant is 18 years or over when charged. The SJP allows suspects to plead guilty by post and a single justice will determine the level of fine on the papers without a traditional court hearing. The CPS only become involved in the SJP if and when a defendant pleads not guilty, at which point the case will be passed to the CPS to prosecute.99

80.The Government’s evidence to the Committee set out the safeguards in place to ensure that the single justice procedure is fair:

Before convicting a person through the Single Justice Procedure, the justice must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt on the evidence presented. The justice is always advised by a legally qualified justices’ legal adviser. In addition, Single Justice Procedure is a fair process as:

Lord Wolfson told us that 4% of those who received a single justice procedure notice pleaded “not guilty” between August and November 2020.101 He also said that even if a “normal hearing” were held, the defendant would not appear in many cases and would be tried in his or her absence because of the summary nature of the offences.102

81.A number of submissions to the Committee raised concerns over the use of the single justice procedure for covid-19 offences. Big Brother Watch and Fair Trials both raised concerns over the fact that single justice procedure cases are not reviewed by the CPS.103 They suggested the lack of CPS supervision meant that incorrectly charged cases would not be identified. Transform Justice also stressed that around 70–80% of those who receive a Single Justice Procedure Notice do not respond.104 They stated that in covid-19 related cases between March and September 2020 88% did not respond and did not plead guilty or not guilty (958 out of 1,084 cases).105

82.Lord Wolfson told us that a HMCTS review of 5,156 single justice procedure cases (including non-covid-19 cases) dealt with between 1 September and 30 October 2020, identified errors in 10% of cases.106 He cautioned that although this was less than the 28% error rate found by CPS when looking at covid-19 cases, that could be explained by the fact that the “CPS was deliberately going through and looking for errors, so it is more likely that they are going to spot them”.107 We asked the Government how many covid-19 cases have been dealt with by the Single Justice Procedure. Lord Wolfson told us that since 1 March 2020 there had been 7,234 cases using the procedure, although that number had not been independently validated.108 In response to this report the Government should provide us with data on the number of covid-19 related single justice procedure cases, which includes data on the outcome of the cases and the level of fine imposed.

83.Joshua Rozenberg QC Hon raised concern about the use of the single justice procedure in relation to covid-19 offences:

The single justice procedure is fine if you are dealing with well-understood offences and minor offences—failure to pay for your transport ticket or something of that nature—where there is no doubt that you have committed the offence and you simply wish to deal with it and get over it and plead guilty. […]

It is not suitable for an entirely new area of law where there is doubt as to whether an offence has been committed at all. That is what we are talking about here. Anybody who simply allows this to go before a single justice assuming that the case will be considered in detail, or anybody who pays a fixed penalty while thinking that they did not commit an offence and hoping that that is a way of sweeping it under the carpet, may well regret what they have done. I suspect that, if such a large backlog of cases is due to come before the Crown Prosecution Service in the future, the CPS may well decide to drop some of those cases simply because of the difficulties of proving them to the requirement that the law imposes. In those circumstances, there may be no penalty at all.109

84.Tristan Kirk, courts correspondent at the Evening Standard, similarly argued that the single justice procedure is “wholly inappropriate” to deal with covid-19 offences:

These are cases of high public importance, given the context of the pandemic. They are new offences, sometimes legally complex, and appear to have been substantially misunderstood at times. There appears to me to be a pressing need for a full magistrate bench, or a District Judge to oversee these cases, with the presence of a prosecutor and the scrutiny that an open court offers.110

85.In relation to transparency of the single justice procedure, Tristan Kirk raised a number of concerns over how the procedure works in practice. His evidence set out several examples where it was difficult as a courts reporter to get hold of the relevant paperwork for covid-19 cases.111 He argued that “the opportunity for contemporaneous reporting simply did not exist”, which was problematic in a pandemic when it was important for the public to know how the rules were being applied:112

It should be a matter of public concern that there are hundreds, potentially thousands, of cases of people being accused of these offences going through a system where they do not get the kind of scrutiny that you would expect from a full court hearing. They potentially are not being administered properly, and there is no real opportunity for the media or the public to see what is happening, which causes a problem of things potentially going wrong. It also raises the question of whether the system is sending the public message that you actually want it to send. This is a public health crisis, and you have a chance with the courts to send a message that, if people do not follow the rules that you want them to follow, they will face a penalty, punishment and a criminal conviction.113

86.In defence of the use of the single justice procedure Lord Wolfson stressed that as far as the government was concerned the single justice procedure was “both appropriate and suitable for [covid-19 related] offences”. He said that “the bulk of the work through the single justice procedure, we believe, has worked extremely well”.114 He argued it was needed because “the alternative—to have a full hearing before a bench of three magistrates—would be massively resource intensive and could overwhelm the magistrates courts”.115 He noted that this was the same procedure used for lots of fixed penalty notice-type offences.

87.More generally, Lord Wolfson reflected on the importance of the single justice procedure for keeping the justice system running throughout the pandemic:

When we look back, we should not forget something that is easy to overlook—that throughout this we kept a justice system operating. I know that we might take that for granted, but we should not. To keep a justice system operating during a pandemic was no mean feat, but we did it, and the single justice procedure was a large part of that.116

88.On the issue of the transparency of the single justice procedure, Lord Wolfson challenged the concerns expressed, suggesting that the procedure was arguably more transparent than normal court processes:

It may be that what one is used to, one thinks is always the best. If you just imagine a journalist walking into a magistrates court and sitting at the back, there is lots of material that the journalist does not see. But when you are in the single justice procedure, the statement of the prosecution and the defence is available to be looked at. Arguably, there is actually more transparency in the SJ procedure than in the traditional procedure.117

89.A central lesson from the covid-19 pandemic is the enduring impact that pandemics can have on our criminal justice system and courts. In response to the pandemic the Government was right to look for ways to reduce pressure on the courts system and to avoid overwhelming the magistrates’ courts with covid-19 related cases. We recognise that the efficiency of the single justice procedure had a role to play in this.

90.However, given the relatively small number of covid-19 cases and their public importance, we do not think that all covid-19 offences in the regulations should necessarily have been specified to allow the procedure to be used. The use of the single justice procedure to deal with covid-19 offences has been problematic in the wider context of public uncertainty over what was prohibited and what was allowed, caused by the fast-changing nature of the covid-19 regulations. We also appreciate concerns expressed to us about the transparency of the single justice procedure. In a pandemic it is also important for the integrity of offences that justice is seen to be delivered in line with the principles of the rule of law.

91.A lesson learnt from the pandemic is that the Ministry of Justice should review the transparency of the single justice procedure and consider how the process could be made more open and accessible to the media and the public.

92.The Government should also conduct a review of the use of the single justice procedure in covid-19 cases. The review should consider the relative complexity of different covid-19 cases and whether it was appropriate for more complex cases to be specified to allow use of the single justice procedure. This could be incorporated as part of our recommended review by the UK Health Security Agency into the role of the criminal justice system in protecting public health during pandemics.

52 ACRO Criminal Records Office, Covid-19 fixed penalty notice (FPN) frequently asked questions

53 Ibid

58 Mr Daniel Greenberg CB (Counsel for Domestic Legislation at House of Commons) (COV0003), para 11

59 Mr Daniel Greenberg CB (Counsel for Domestic Legislation at House of Commons) (COV0003)

60 For example. see the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021, regulation 15; for a list of other offences which incurred a £10,000 fine for first offence see annex 1.

61 Kit Malthouse Q140


68 Big Brother Watch (COV0010)

69 Big Brother Watch (COV0010)

74 Fair Trials (COV0008)

75 Fair Trials (COV0008)

76 Crown Prosecution Service (COV0009)

81 Big Brother Watch (COV0010)

84 Tristan Kirk (Courts Correspondent at London Evening Standard) (COV0011)

85 Tristan Kirk (Courts Correspondent at London Evening Standard) (COV0011)

88 ACRO, Covid-19 fixed penalty notice (FPN) frequently asked questions

96 see section 16A of the Magistrates’ Court Act 1980

97 Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, Public Bill Committee, 25 March 2014, c316–352

98 Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, Public Bill Committee, 25 March 2014, c352

99 Crown Prosecution Service (COV0009)

100 Ministry of Justice (COV0012)

103 Fair Trials (COV0008) Big Brother Watch (COV0010)

104 Transform Justice (COV0013)

105 Transform Justice (COV0013)

110 Tristan Kirk (Courts Correspondent at London Evening Standard) (COV0011) Joshua Rozenberg made the same point. Q39

111 Tristan Kirk (Courts Correspondent at London Evening Standard) (COV0011)

112 Tristan Kirk (Courts Correspondent at London Evening Standard) (COV0011)

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