Latest Issue

Former Supreme Court justice: coronavirus rules are tempting overly authoritarian police officers

Simon Brown says there may be dangers lurking in the legitimate restrictions on our daily lives

By Alex Dean  

The Supreme Court justices in 2009—Simon Brown is back row, Photo: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/PA Images

The coronavirus emergency raises pressing questions about law-making and state powers: the UK government passed legislation at lightning speed and is now interfering with our daily lives in an unprecedented—if necessary—way. The rules have been criticised for lack of clarity—is a jogger resting on a park bench breaking them?—while some police forces have been censured for overstepping the mark of legitimate enforcement.

What is the right balance of powers to strike? And where…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect