Brecknell v The United Kingdom: ECHR 27 Nov 2007

Allegations had been made about police collusion with killings in Northern Ireland.
Held: Where there was credible information as to a possible perpetrator of an unlawful killing, there was a duty to investigate that evidence. Here the original investigations had lacked the characteristic of independence of the subjects of the investigation.
The court said that: ‘it may be that sometime later, information purportedly casting new light on the circumstances of the death comes into the public domain’ and that ‘[t]he issue then arises as to whether, and in what form, the procedural obligation to investigate is revived’. It then gave examples including ‘deliberate concealment of evidence’ which only subsequently comes to light, or later items of evidence which ‘cast doubt on the effectiveness of the original investigation and trial’. However in para 70 the court accepted that it was not right to say that ‘any assertion or allegation can trigger a fresh investigative obligation under article 2’, but emphasised that ‘state authorities must be sensitive to any information or material which has the potential either to undermine the conclusions of an earlier investigation or to allow an earlier inconclusive investigation to be pursued further’.

[2007] ECHR 989, Times 12-Dec-2007, 32457/04
European Convention on Human Rights
Human Rights
See AlsoBrecknell v The United Kingdom ECHR 6-Mar-2007
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Cited by:
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CitedFinucane, Re Application for Judicial Review SC 27-Feb-2019
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Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Limitation

Updated: 16 January 2022; Ref: scu.262977