Banks v United Kingdom: ECHR 6 Feb 2007

The applicants complained of maltreatment by prison officers in breach of article 3. The matter had been investigated by the Crown Prosecution Service which had decided not to prosecute. Civil proceedings had been raised and settled. The applicants contended that, even after all that, an independent public inquiry should be held, since it was the only means of ensuring compliance with the article 3 procedural obligation.
Held: The application was declared manifestly ill-founded because, although reliance was placed on a procedural obligation arising under Article 3, there was no complaint of a substantive violation.
The court explained the difference between the procedural obligations under articles 2 nd 3: ‘Procedural obligations have been implied in varying contexts under the Convention, where this has been perceived as necessary to ensure that the rights guaranteed under the Convention are not theoretical or illusory but practical and effective. Such obligations requiring an effective investigation into allegations of unlawful use of force and serious ill-treatment have been interpreted as arising under Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention respectively . . The Court would emphasise that these obligations are not identical either in content or as regards their applicability. In the context of Article 2 of the Convention, the obligation to conduct an effective investigation into allegations of the unlawful use of force attracts particular stringency in situations where the victim is deceased and the only persons with knowledge of the circumstances are officers of the State. It is important, with a view to ensuring respect for the rule of law and confidence of the public, that the facts, and any unlawfulness, are properly and swiftly established. In the context of Article 3, where the victim of any alleged ill-treatment is, generally, able to act on his own behalf and give evidence as to what occurred, there is a different emphasis and . . since Article 13 of the Convention requires an effective remedy to be provided for arguable breaches of Article 3, it will not always be necessary, or appropriate, to examine the procedural complaints under the latter provision. The procedural limb of Article 3 principally comes into play where the Court is unable to reach any conclusions as to whether there has been treatment prohibited by Article 3 of the Convention, deriving, at least in part, from the failure of the authorities to react effectively to such complaints at the relevant time’
21387/05, [2007] ECHR 177, (2007) 45 EHRR SE2
European Convention on Human Rights
Human Rights
Cited by:
CitedGentle, Regina (on the Application of) and Another v The Prime Minister and Another HL 9-Apr-2008
The appellants were mothers of two servicemen who had died whilst on active service in Iraq. They appealed refusal to grant a public inquiry. There had already been coroners inquests. They said that Article 2 had been infringed.
Held: The . .
CitedSecretary of State for the Home Department v JN CA 14-May-2008
The Secretary of State appealed against a declaration that paragraph 3(2)(b) of Part 2 of Schedule 3 to the 2004 Act was incompatible with Article 3. The clause was said to restrict the Home Secretary from considering anything beyond the country . .
CitedJL, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice; Regina (L (A Patient)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 26-Nov-2008
The prisoner was left with serious injury after attempting suicide in prison. He said that there was a human rights duty to hold an investigation into the circumstances leading up to this.
Held: There existed a similar duty to hold an enhanced . .
CitedMorrison v The Independent Police Complaints Commission and Others Admn 26-Oct-2009
The claimant made a complaint of a serious assault by the police, by the use of a Taser. The defendant had referred the complaint to the IPCC, who said that they should investigate it themselves. The claimant said that to accord with his human . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 19 February 2021; Ref: scu.249251