A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, Mahmoud Abu Rideh Jamal Ajouaou v Secretary of State for the Home Department: CA 11 Aug 2004

The claimants had each been detained without trial for more than two years, being held as suspected terrorists. They were free leave to return to their own countries, but they feared for their lives if returned. They complained that the evidence used to justify their detention was derived from practices involving torture by the US and others.
Held: UNCAT required a state not to admit evidence shown to have been obtained by torture, however there was no sufficient evidence before the Commission to conclude that it had indeed been obtained by torture. Challenges to evidence on this ground go as to weight, not admissibility. The derogation from the European Convention was lawful, and UNCAT has no direct effect in English law. ‘This case has concerned the means by which, in the acute setting created by the threat to the life of the nation which currently faces the United Kingdom, the State has sought to reconcile competing constitutional fundamentals. I do not say it has been done perfectly, or could not have been done better. But I do not think the executive or the legislature has at all lost sight of those constitutional principles which it is the court’s special duty to protect: the rule of law, and the avoidance of arbitrary power. ‘ The Rules explicitly disallowed any argument for exclusion of the evidence, because it stated that otherwise inadmissible evidence was to be allowed. There was no high duty on the Secretary of State to investigate allegations that evidence had been obtained by torture. (Neuberger LJ dissenting) Given the danger that the admission of such evidence might encourage the practice of torture and the inherent inability properly to test it, the evidence should be inadmissible.


Lord Justice Pill Lord Justice Laws Lord Justice Neuberger


Times 05-Oct-2004, [2004] EWCA Civ 1123, [2005] 1 WLR 414




European Convention on Human Rights 5, Human Rights Act 1998 (Designated Derogation) Order 2001, Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Procedure) Rules 2003 44(3), United Nations Convention Against Torture 1984 15


England and Wales


CitedA, X and Y, and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 25-Oct-2002
The applicant challenged regulations brought in by the respondent providing for foreigners suspected of terrorism to be detained where a British national suspect would not have been detained. The respondent had issued a derogation from the . .
CitedSecretary of State for the Home Department v Rehman HL 11-Oct-2001
The applicant, a Pakistani national had entered the UK to act as a Muslim priest. The Home Secretary was satisfied that he was associated with a Muslim terrorist organisation, and refused indefinite leave to remain. The Home Secretary provided both . .
CitedChahal v The United Kingdom ECHR 15-Nov-1996
Proper Reply Opportunity Required on Deportation
(Grand Chamber) The claimant was an Indian citizen who had been granted indefinite leave to remain in this country but whose activities as a Sikh separatist brought him to the notice of the authorities both in India and here. The Home Secretary of . .
CitedThe Secretary of State for the Home Department v M CA 18-Mar-2004
The applicant had been detained under the appellant’s certificate that he was a suspected terrorist.
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CitedO’Hara v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary HL 21-Nov-1996
Second Hand Knowledge Supports Resaobnable Belief
The plaintiff had been arrested on the basis of the 1984 Act. The officer had no particular knowledge of the plaintiff’s involvement, relying on a briefing which led to the arrest.
Held: A reasonable suspicion upon which an arrest was founded . .
CitedFerrantelli and Santangelo v Italy ECHR 7-Aug-1996
The matter of admissibility of evidence is primarily one for the national courts: ‘It [the Court] recalls that the admissibility of evidence is primarily a matter for regulation by national law and, as a rule, it is for the national courts to assess . .
CitedIbrahim v The King PC 6-Mar-1914
(Hong Kong) The defendant was an Afghan subject with the British Army in Hong Kong. He was accused of murder. Having accepted the protection of the British Armed forces, he became subject to their laws. In custody, he was asked about the offence by . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Ping Lin PC 1976
The Board was asked whether a statement by the defendant was shown to be voluntary.
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CitedRegina v Hnedish 1958
(Canada) ‘Having regard to all the implications involved in accepting the full impact of the Hammond decision [1941] 3 All ER 318 which can, I think, be summarised by saying that regardless of how much physical or mental torture or abuse has been . .
CitedRegina v Horseferry Road Magistrates’ Court, ex Parte Bennett (No 1) HL 24-Jun-1993
The defendant had been brought to the UK in a manner which was in breach of extradition law. He had, in effect, been kidnapped by the authorities.
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CitedWong Kam-Ming v The Queen PC 20-Dec-1978
The voir dire system allows a defendant to give his evidence on the limited issues surrounding the circumstances under which his statement was made as to the admissibility of the confession, without infringing his right to elect not to give evidence . .
CitedRegina v Latif; Regina v Shahzad HL 23-Jan-1996
The defendant had been lured into the UK by the unlawful acts of customs officers. He claimed abuse of process.
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CitedRegina v Sang HL 25-Jul-1979
The defendant appealed against an unsuccessful application to exclude evidence where it was claimed there had been incitement by an agent provocateur.
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CitedRamda, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 27-Jun-2002
The Government of France sought the extradition of Ramda wanted by them for trial in connection with a series of terrorist bombings in France. The applicant resisted extradition to France on the ground that the evidence which would be relied on . .
CitedRegina v Looseley (orse Loosely); Attorney General’s Reference No 3 of 2000 HL 25-Oct-2001
Police Entrapment is no defence to Criminal Act
The defendant complained of his conviction for supplying controlled drugs, saying that the undercover police officer had requested him to make the supply.
Held: It was an abuse of process for the police to go so far as to incite a crime.
CitedMontgomery and Coulter v Her Majesty’s Advocate PC 19-Oct-2000
The test of whether a defendant’s common law right to a fair trial had been damaged by pre-trial publicity was similar to the test under the Convention, and also where there was any plea of oppression. The substantial difference is that no balancing . .
CitedRegina v Bartle and Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Others, ex parte Pinochet Ugarte; Regina v Evans and Similar (No 3) HL 24-Mar-1999
An application to extradite a former head of state for an offence which was not at the time an offence under English law would fail, but could proceed in respect of allegations of acts after that time. No immunity was intended for heads of state. . .
CitedRegina v Lyons, Parnes, Ronson, Saunders HL 15-Nov-2002
The defendants had been convicted on evidence obtained from them by inspectors with statutory powers to require answers on pain of conviction. Subsequently the law changed to find such activity an infringement of a defendant’s human rights.
CitedAttorney-General v Guardian Newspapers Ltd (No 2) (‘Spycatcher’) HL 13-Oct-1988
Loss of Confidentiality Protection – public domain
A retired secret service employee sought to publish his memoirs from Australia. The British government sought to restrain publication there, and the defendants sought to report those proceedings, which would involve publication of the allegations . .
CitedSaleem v Secretary of State for Home Department CA 13-Jun-2000
A rule which deemed service on an asylum applicant two days after postage of a special adjudicator’s determination irrespective of whether it was in fact received was outside the powers given to the Secretary, and is of no effect. The Act gave power . .
CitedJH Rayner (Mincing Lane) Ltd v Department of Trade and Industry HL 1989
An undisclosed principal will not be permitted to claim to be party to a contract if this is contrary to the terms of the contract itself. Thus the provision in the standard form B contract of the London Metal Exchange ‘this contract is made between . .
CitedTeixeira De Castro v Portugal ECHR 9-Jun-1998
Mr De Castro had been the target of an unwarranted, unauthorised, unsupervised police operation in which undercover officers incited him to supply drugs. He challenged a conviction for trafficking in heroin, based mainly on statements of two police . .
CitedStott (Procurator Fiscal, Dunfermline) and Another v Brown PC 5-Dec-2000
The system under which the registered keeper of a vehicle was obliged to identify herself as the driver, and such admission was to be used subsequently as evidence against her on a charge of driving with excess alcohol, was not a breach of her right . .
CitedMcElhinney v Ireland; Al-Adsani v United Kingdom; Fogarty v United Kingdom ECHR 21-Nov-2001
Grand Chamber – The first applicant said he had been injured by a shot fired by a British soldier who had been carried for two miles into the Republic of Ireland, clinging to the applicant’s vehicle following an incident at a checkpoint.
Held: . .
CitedRegina v Director of Serious Fraud Office, ex Parte Smith HL 15-Jul-1992
The applicant having been cautioned for an offence under the Companies Act 1985, he objected to being required to answer questions put to him in connection with the matter by the Director of the Serious Fraud Office under the 1987 Act.
Held: . .
CitedArrow Nominees Inc and Another v Blackledge and Others CA 22-Jun-2000
A petition had been lodged alleging unfair prejudice in the conduct of the company’s affairs. The defendants alleged that when applying for relief under section 459, the claimants had attempted to pervert the course of justice by producing forged or . .
CitedJones v University of Warwick CA 4-Feb-2003
The claimant appealed a decision to admit in evidence a tape recording, taken by an enquiry agent of the defendant who had entered her house unlawfully.
Held: The situation asked judges to reconcile the irreconcilable. Courts should be . .
CitedMcElhinney v Ireland; Al-Adsani v United Kingdom; Fogarty v United Kingdom ECHR 21-Nov-2001
Grand Chamber – The first applicant said he had been injured by a shot fired by a British soldier who had been carried for two miles into the Republic of Ireland, clinging to the applicant’s vehicle following an incident at a checkpoint.
Held: . .
CitedRegina v Shannon (Also Known As Alford) CACD 11-Oct-2000
The defendant had been enticed to commit a crime involving supply of controlled drugs by a journalist acting as an agent provocateur.
Held: Entrapment is not a defence in UK law. It was open to the judge hearing the prosecution to exclude the . .

Cited by:

CitedA and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No 2) HL 8-Dec-2005
Evidence from 3rd Party Torture Inadmissible
The applicants had been detained following the issue of certificates issued by the respondent that they posed a terrorist threat. They challenged the decisions of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission saying that evidence underlying the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Immigration, Human Rights

Updated: 06 July 2022; Ref: scu.199951