Al-Saadoon and Mufdhi v The United Kingdom: ECHR 2 Mar 2009

The claimant Iraqi nationals complained of their long term detention by British forces in Iraq, and of their transfer to the Iraqi authorities for trial for murder.
Held: The transfer was a breach of the applicants’ rights. The Iraqis had re-introduced the death penalty for such crimes which they said amounted to war crimes. The respondent had broken its rule 39 obligation to the court by transferring the claimants to the Iraqi authorities. No undertaking had been received from Iraq that the death penalty would not be imposed.
The death penalty could now be considered inhuman and degrading, and contrary to article 3 of the Convention. Undergoing a procedure which might lead to such an end also gave rise to a significant degree of mental suffering. The respondent had made no significant effort to secure the clamants’ human rights before transferring them.

Judges:

L Garlicki, President, and Judges Sir Nicolas Bratza, G. Bonello, L. Mijovic; J. Sikuta, M. Poalelungi and N. Vucinic

Citations:

27021/08, [2009] ECHR 409, (2010) 51 EHRR 9

Links:

Bailii, Times

Statutes:

European Convention on Human Rights 3

Jurisdiction:

Human Rights

Citing:

At High CourtAl-Saadoon and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence Admn 29-Aug-2008
The applicants complained of their continued detention in Iraq in a UK internment facility as an infringement of their human rights. . .
At High CourtAl-Saadoon and Another, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence Admn 19-Dec-2008
The two applicants had been detained by the armed forces in Iraq suspected of murder. They sought release before being transferred to the civilian authorities for trial saying that the trials would not be fair. The respondent denied that the . .
At Court of AppealAl-Saadoon and Another, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence CA 22-Dec-2008
. .
Appeal fromAl-Saadoon and Another, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence CA 21-Jan-2009
The claimants had been detained on the request of the Iraqi criminal court in a detention facility run by the UK armed forces. They complained of their proposed transfer to an Iraqi facility in anticipation of facing trial for murder, for which if . .

Cited by:

CitedSmith, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence and Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner (Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening) SC 30-Jun-2010
The deceased soldier died of heat exhaustion whilst on active service in Iraq. It was said that he was owed a duty under human rights laws, and that any coroner’s inquest should be a fuller one to satisfy the state’s duty under Article 2.
CitedZagorski and Baze, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Others Admn 29-Nov-2010
The claimants, in the US awaiting execution for murders, challenged the permitting by the defendant for export of the chemical Sodium Thipental which would be used for their execution. The respondent said that its use in general anaesthesia practice . .
CitedAl-Saadoon and Others v Secretary of State for Defence Admn 17-Mar-2015
Leggatt J explained the idea of enforced disappearance: ‘a concept recognised in international law and . . a practice which is internationally condemned. It involves detention outside the protection of the law where there is a refusal by the state . .
CitedAl-Saadoon and Others v Secretary of State for Defence Admn 26-Jun-2015
Reasons for orders following a case management hearing to review whether there are steps which the court should now be taking to procure compliance by the Secretary of State for Defence with the duty of the UK under articles 2 and 3 of the European . .
CitedAl-Saadoon and Others v Secretary of State for Defence Admn 7-Apr-2016
The court considered the extent of the state’s obligations to investigate allegations of unlawful killing and ill-treatment of civilians by British soldiers in Iraq between 2003 and 2009. It follows a hearing to consider three issues: i) Whether the . .
See AlsoAl-Saadoon and Others v The Secretary of State for Defence and Others CA 9-Sep-2016
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, International, Criminal Sentencing

Updated: 26 May 2022; Ref: scu.316647