The Coronavirus Act came into force a year ago and is up for renewal on March 25th.
The Act marks the biggest expansion of state power in living memory, creating curbs on protests and facilitating heavy-handed policing which critics point out as an erosion of civil liberties.
The Government has defended the measures as ‘reasonable, proportionate and based on the latest scientific evidence.’
Madeleine Stone, Legal and Policy Officer for Big Brother Watch, said: “All the time [these powers] are sitting there they represent a danger to our rights. There’s been a lot of talk about ‘new normal’ recently, and we are deeply concerned these powers will remain in the statute books for a very long time to come,” she said.
“We expressed concerns early on about these powers, and our worries have been justified. Unlawful use risks damaging trust in policing and the rule of law, and threatens our human rights, whilst having no benefit to public health,” Stone tells LFF.