Jewish Book Week 2023 Saturday 25 February - Sunday 05 March | Tickets now on sale

Lockdowns, Laws & Lost Freedoms

Adam Wagner

Chair: Rob Rinder

26/02/2023 12:30 pm
Kings Place, Hall 2

Ticket Price : £15.00

Get tickets

On 26 March 2020, a new law appeared. In 11 pages it confined tens of millions of people to their homes, restricting our freedoms more than any other law in history, justified by the rapid spread of a deadly new virus. Never debated in Parliament, it came into force as soon as it was signed, amid a state of emergency being declared, it lasted for over two years and allowed ministers to bring in over 100 new laws by decree, laws then broken by the then-Prime Minister and many of his colleagues.

Described by former Supreme Court President Lady Hale as “a riveting account of how our democracy was put under threat during the Pandemic” in Emergency State: How We Lost Our Freedoms in the Pandemic and Why it Matters leading human rights barrister Adam Wagner shares this startling story and offers a wakeup call. A member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) panel of counsel who has represented the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), Adam joins barrister and broadcaster Rob Rinder to discuss his highly anticipated and much-discussed first book.

Click here to buy a copy of Emergency State by Adam Wagner


We would love to know what you think about Jewish Book Week and your online experience. Complete our customer survey for the chance to win a £50 book voucher.

Adam Wagner

Adam Wagner is one of the UK’s leading human rights barristers and the UK's pre-eminent expert on COVID-19 laws. He was described in the House of Lords as ‘the only person in the country who can make sense of this variety of regulations’. He practises from Doughty Street Chambers. He appears regularly on TV and radio, and during the pandemic was often called upon to interpret the bewildering COVID-19 laws, explaining to Piers Morgan whether it was legal to sit on a park bench and helping the public understand when politicians broke the law. Adam has acted in some of the key human rights cases of recent years, including for #ReclaimTheseStreets in their successful case against the Metropolitan Police relating to the vigil following the murder of Sarah Everard. He was Specialist Advisor to the Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry into the human rights implications of COVID-19 and is a Visiting Professor of Law at Goldsmiths University.

Rob Rinder

Rob Rinder is a professional barrister, who gained a First Class Honours degree at the University of Manchester in Politics & Modern History. He went onto specialise in international fraud, money laundering and other forms of financial crime. Robert is best known for his ITV1 British reality court show Judge Rinder, which sees real life cases adjudicated over in a studio courtroom. He also presents Judge Rinder's Crime Stories which is now in its third series and lifts the lid on some of Britain's worst ever crimes. In 2017, Robert also re-launched Crown Court on ITV1, newly named Judge Rinder's Crown Court after a 30-year hiatus. Rob also released his own book Rinder Rules in 2014 which successfully highlights a simple guide to making the law work for you - whoever you are! He is a columnist for The Sun and the London Evening Standard. In 2019 Rob began hosting the new Channel 4 show The Rob Rinder Verdict.

The Jewish Chronicle

Jewish Book Week 2023 is proud to partner with the Jewish Chronicle, the world's oldest Jewish newspaper.