AM and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and others: CA 17 Mar 2009

The claimants complained of their detention after the disorder at Harmondsworth Immigration Detention Centre.
Held: The investigation of allegations of inhuman or degrading treatment related to those in the custody of the State, though it was run by an independent company, and was required to satisfy the requirements of Article 3. (Longmore LJ dissenting)
Sedley LJ said: ‘A body of European and domestic case-law has established that, when there is credible evidence of a breach of art. 2, the state has an obligation to provide or to institute an effective official investigation. The purposes of such an investigation were described by Lord Bingham in R (Amin) v Home Secretary [2004] 1 AC 653, ss31: ‘to ensure so far as possible that the full facts are brought to light; that culpable and discreditable conduct is exposed and brought to public notice; that suspicion of deliberate wrongdoing (if unjustified) is allayed; that dangerous practices and procedures are rectified; and that those who have lost their relative may at least have the satisfaction of knowing that lessons learnt from his death may save the lives of others.”
and: ‘ECtHR jurisprudence establishes the following of any art. 3 investigation:
The investigation should be capable of leading to the identification and punishment of those responsible;
It may generally be regarded as necessary for the persons responsible for and carrying out the investigation to be independent from those implicated in the events. This means not only a lack of hierarchical or institutional connection but also a practical independence;
It must be effective in the sense that it is capable of leading to a determination of whether the force used was or was not justified in the circumstances;
It must be thorough, in that the authorities must make a serious attempt to find out what happened and should not rely on hasty or ill-founded conclusions to close their investigation or as the basis of their decisions. They must take all reasonable steps available to them to secure the evidence concerning the incident; and
It must permit effective access for the complainant to the investigatory procedure.’


Lord Justice Sedley, Lord Justice Longmore and Lord Justice Elias


[2009] EWCA Civ 219, [2009] ACD 38


Bailii, Times


European Convention on Human Rights 2 3


England and Wales


CitedAmin, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Oct-2003
Prisoner’s death – need for full public enquiry
The deceased had been a young Asian prisoner. He was placed in a cell overnight with a prisoner known to be racist, extremely violent and mentally unstable. He was killed. The family sought an inquiry into the death.
Held: There had been a . .

Cited by:

CitedM, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Home Department Admn 2-Dec-2010
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Immigration

Updated: 23 July 2022; Ref: scu.321825