Ashingdane v The United Kingdom: ECHR 28 May 1985

The right of access to the courts is not absolute but may be subject to limitations. These are permitted by implication since the right of access ‘by its very nature calls for regulation by the State, regulation which may vary in time and place according to the needs and resources of the community and of individuals’. There was no breach where a patient was detained in the high security conditions of Broadmoor for 18 months after the Home Secretary had acknowledged that his condition no longer warranted it, and he could be transferred to a local psychiatric unit. Article 5(1)(e) is not concerned with suitable treatment or conditions.
‘More generally, it follows from the very aim of article 5(1) that no detention that is arbitrary can ever be regarded as ‘lawful’. The court would further accept that there must be some relationship between the ground of permitted deprivation of liberty relied on and the place and conditions of detention.’

8225/78, (1985) 7 EHRR 528, [1985] ECHR 8, 14/1983/70/106
worldlii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights A6 A5(1)(e)
Human Rights
Citing:
Appeal fromAshingdane v Department of Health and Social Security 1981
Mr Ashingdane was a Broadmoor patient who was deemed ready for transfer back into his local hospital, but was denied a bed there because the nurses’ trade union operated a ban on taking special hospital patients. He launched proceedings against the . .

Cited by:
CitedMatthews v Ministry of Defence HL 13-Feb-2003
The claimant sought damages against the Crown, having suffered asbestosis whilst in the armed forces. He challenged the denial to him of a right of action by the 1947 Act.
Held: Human rights law did not create civil rights, but rather voided . .
CitedWoodhouse v Consignia Plc; Steliou v Compton CA 7-Mar-2002
The claimant continued an action brought in her late husband’s name. The action had begun under the former rules. After the new rules came into effect, the action was automatically stayed, since no progress had been made for over a year. Her . .
CitedMunjaz v Mersey Care National Health Service Trust And the Secretary of State for Health, the National Association for Mental Health (Mind) Respondent interested; CA 16-Jul-2003
The claimant was a mental patient under compulsory detention, and complained that he had been subjected to periods of seclusion.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The hospital had failed to follow the appropriate Code of Practice. The Code was not . .
CitedBarry Young (Deceased) v Western Power Distribution (South West) Plc CA 18-Jul-2003
The deceased had begun an action on becoming ill after exposure to asbestos by the defendant. He withdrew his action after receiving expert evidence that his illness was unrelated. A post-mortem examination showed this evidence to be mistaken. His . .
CitedRegina (Burgess) v Home Secretary 2000
The applicant challenged the refusal to move him to open conditions within the prison system.
Held: ‘Article 5(4) does not . . preclude the Secretary of State from taking a different view than the Discretionary Life Panel of the Parole Board . .
CitedP, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 11-Dec-2003
The applicant was a discretionary life prisoner compulsorily detained in a mental hospital. His tariff had now expired. If not detained under the 1983 Act he would now be entitled to a review. He argued that there should be a joint hearing.
CitedSecretary of State for Work and Pensions v Kehoe CA 5-Mar-2004
The claimant had applied to the Child Support Agncy for maintenance. They failed utterly to obtain payment, and she complained now that she was denied the opportunity by the 1991 Act to take court proceedings herself.
Held: The denial of . .
CitedGovernment of the United States of America v Barnette and another Admn 2002
The applicant sought to register, under the Act, an order against the funds of the defendant, who replied that the order sought to be registered had been obtained in a way which would infringe her human rights if obtained here. As a fugitive she had . .
CitedB, Regina (on the Application of) v Ashworth Hospital Authority HL 17-Mar-2005
The House was asked whether a patient detained for treatment under the 1983 Act can be treated against his will for any mental disorder from which he is suffering or only for the particular form of mental disorder from which he is classified as . .
CitedKehoe, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 14-Jul-2005
The applicant contended that the 1991 Act infringed her human rights in denying her access to court to obtain maintenance for her children.
Held: The applicant had no substantive right to take part in the enforcement process in domestic law . .
CitedRegina v Ashworth Hospital Authority (Now Mersey Care National Health Service Trust) ex parte Munjaz HL 13-Oct-2005
The claimant was detained in a secure Mental Hospital. He complained at the seclusions policy applied by the hospital, saying that it departed from the Guidance issued for such policies by the Secretary of State under the Act.
Held: The House . .
CitedRaja v Van Hoogstraten and others ChD 12-Jun-2006
The claimant sought the strike out of the defendants pleadings. The first defendant was found to have been responsible for the killing of the deceased. The proceedings had been prolonged by procedural challenges by the defendant.
Held: The . .
CitedK Ltd v National Westminster Bank Plc and others CA 19-Jul-2006
The bank had declined to act upon a customer’s instructions, reporting its suspicions of criminal activity to the police. Permission was given to proceed but only after a delay. The claimant customer sought its costs.
Held: The customer’s . .
CitedSeal v Chief Constable of South Wales Police HL 4-Jul-2007
The claimant had sought to bring proceedings against the respondent, but as a mental patient subject to the 1983 Act, had been obliged by the section first to obtain consent. The parties disputed whether the failure was a procedural or substantial . .
CitedIn re F (A Child) (Placement Order); C v East Sussex County Council (Adoption) CA 1-May-2008
The father sought to revoke a freeing order. He said that the social workers had conspired to exclude him from the process. The child was born of a casual relationship, and at first he was unaware of the proceedings. On learning of them he sought to . .
CitedMAK and RK v The United Kingdom ECHR 23-Mar-2010
mak_ukECHR10
When RK, a nine year old girl was taken to hospital, with bruises, the paediatrician wrongly suspecting sexual abuse, took blood samples and intimate photographs in the absence of the parents and without their consent.
Held: The doctor had . .
CitedG v E and Others CA 16-Jul-2010
E, now aged 19, suffered a genetic disorder leading to severe learning disability and lack of mental capacity. He had been in the care of his sister, the appellant, but had been removed by the local authority when his behaviour became disturbed. G, . .
CitedFairclough Homes Ltd v Summers SC 27-Jun-2012
The respondent had made a personal injury claim, but had then been discovered to have wildly and dishonestly exaggerated the damages claim. The defendant argued that the court should hand down some condign form of punishment, and appealed against . .
CitedRe DE, JE v DE, Surrey County Council and EW FD 29-Dec-2006
JE, wife of DE, who had been taken into residential care by the Local authority, said that the authority had infringed his Article 5 and 8 rights on transferring him between homes. The authority asserted that he did not have mental capacity. She . .
CitedG v Scottish Ministers and Another SC 18-Dec-2013
The 2003 Act had been intended to make provision for those who had been in long term mental health carse, but would not need such continued are but were not either ready to survive without continuing support in the community. The claimant had been . .
CitedBenkharbouche v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs SC 18-Oct-2017
The court was asked as to the compatibility of provisions in the 1978 Act with the human rights of the appellant. The claimants, Moroccan nationals were employed as domestic staff in embassies in London. They alleged both race discrimination and . .
CitedBrown v The Parole Board for Scotland, The Scottish Ministers and Another SC 1-Nov-2017
The court was asked whether the duty under article 5 to provide prisoners with a real opportunity for rehabilitation applied to prisoners serving extended sentences. The prisoner was subject to an extended sentence, but had been released on licence . .
CitedSecretary of State for Justice v MM SC 28-Nov-2018
The respondent had been detained after conviction for arson, under the 1983 Act, and was liable to indefinite detention in hospital for medical treatment and dischargeable only by the Appellant or the First Tier Tribunal, possibly only as a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Health, Prisons

Leading Case

Updated: 29 November 2021; Ref: scu.164941