Vaccine 'passports' - not only for international travel but also potentially for access to domestic venues such as workplaces, shops and cinemas - are currently being widely debated. They raise a plethora of legal issues, including concerns about privacy, efficacy, data protection and personal choice. In a UCL Constitution Unit blog post 'Regulating the use of COVID passports in the UK: the need for primary legislation', Bingham Centre researcher Dr Ronan Cormacain makes three simple points in relation to vaccine certificates. First, they ought to be regulated by law. Secondly, that law ought to be legislation. Thirdly, that legislation ought to be an Act of Parliament subject to the full democratic process of analysis, scrutiny and enactment. Only primary legislation will satisfy the Rule of Law requirements of legality and certainty, along with the democratic requirements of legitimacy.
Vaccine passports and other forms of COVID-19 certification are also the subject of a current inquiry by the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee. Our Research Fellow in Rule of Law Monitoring of Coronavirus Legislation, Katie Lines, and Research Fellow in Public Health Emergencies and the Rule of Law, Dr Richard Mackenzie-Gray Scott, submitted evidence to the Committee last week focusing on some of the key rule of law issues on the matter that require careful consideration. We hope to share this evidence when it is published by the Committee.
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