Al Skeini and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence and Another: Admn 14 Dec 2004

Several dependants of persons killed in Iraq by British troops claimed damages.
Held: The court considered extensively the scope and applicability of Article 1 duties. In general an English court would have no jurisdiction over deaths abroad at the hands of British troops in a war situation. One death however had occurred whist the deceased was in the custody of the British Forces whilst they were the occupying power. Here sufficient jurisdiction and duties of care arose, and the family were entitled to a proper investigation of the circumstances of the death.


Mr Justice Forbes Lord Justice Rix


[2004] EWHC 2911 (Admin), Times 20-Dec-2004, [2007] QB 140, [2005] 2 WLR 1401, [2005] HRLR 3, [2005] UKHRR 427, [2005] ACD 51




European Convention of Human Rights


England and Wales


CitedBankovic v Belgium ECHR 12-Dec-2001
(Grand Chamber) Air strikes were carried out by NATO forces against radio and television facilities in Belgrade on 23 April 1999. The claims of five of the applicants arose out of the deaths of relatives in this raid. The sixth claimed on his own . .

Cited by:

CitedAl-Jedda, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence Admn 12-Aug-2005
The claimant was born an Iraqi, but had been granted British Nationality. He was later detained in Iraq suspected of membership of a terrorist group. No charges were brought, and he complained that his article 5 rights were infringed. The defendant . .
Appeal fromRegina (on the Application of Mazin Mumaa Galteh Al-Skeini and Others) v The Secretary of State for Defence CA 21-Dec-2005
The claimants were dependants of Iraqi nationals killed in Iraq.
Held: The Military Police were operating when Britain was an occupying power. The question in each case was whether the Human Rights Act applied to the acts of the defendant. The . .
CitedGentle and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v the Prime Minister and others Admn 20-Dec-2005
The applicants sought leave to bring judicial review of the decisions which led to the invasion of Iraq. They were relatives of servicemen who had died there.
Held: The court’s only duty at this stage was to ask whether there was an arguable . .
At First InstanceSecretary of State for Defence v Al-Skeini and others (The Redress Trust Intervening) HL 13-Jun-2007
Complaints were made as to the deaths of six Iraqi civilians which were the result of actions by a member or members of the British armed forces in Basra. One of them, Mr Baha Mousa, had died as a result of severe maltreatment in a prison occupied . .
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.
At AdmnAl-Skeini and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 7-Jul-2011
(Grand Chamber) The exercise of jurisdiction, which is a threshold condition, is a necessary condition for a contracting state to be able to be held responsible for acts or omissions imputable to it which give rise to an allegation of the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Armed Forces, Jurisdiction, Coroners

Updated: 04 June 2022; Ref: scu.220287