D v United Kingdom: ECHR 1997

In the circumstances of the case, where the applicant was in the advanced stage of a terminal illness (AIDS), to implement a decision by the respondent to remove the appellant to St Kitts in the West Indies would be a violation of his rights under Article 3. The applicant’s previous grave criminal offences were of no relevance to the question of whether he was entitled to the protection of the Article: ‘It is true that this principle [that is, the absolute nature of the Article 3 prohibition] has so far been applied by the Court in contexts in which the risk to the individual of being subjected to any of the proscribed forms of treatment emanates from intentionally inflicted acts of the public authorities in the receiving country or from those of non-State bodies in that country when the authorities there are unable to afford him appropriate protection. Aside from these situations and given the fundamental importance of Article 3 in the Convention system, the Court must reserve to itself sufficient flexibility to address the application of that Article in other contexts which might arise. It is not therefore prevented from scrutinizing an applicant’s claim under Article 3 where the source of the risk of proscribed treatment in the receiving country stems from factors which cannot engage either directly or indirectly the responsibility of the public authorities of that country, or which, taken alone, do not in themselves infringe the standards of that Article. To limit the application of Article 3 in this manner would be to undermine the absolute character of its protection. In any such contexts, however, the Court must subject all the circumstances surrounding the case to a rigorous scrutiny, especially the applicant’s personal situation in the expelling state. The Court notes that the applicant is in the advanced stages of a terminal and incurable illness. At the date of the hearing it was observed that there had been a marked decline in his condition and he had to be transferred to a hospital . . . The limited quality of life he now enjoys results from the availability of sophisticated treatment and medication in the United Kingdom and the care and kindness administered by a charitable organisation. He has been counselled on how to approach death and has formed bonds with his carers. . . .
The abrupt withdrawal of these facilities will entail the most dramatic consequences for him. It is not disputed that his removal will hasten his death. . . the implementation of the decision to remove him to St Kitts would amount to inhuman treatment by the respondent State in violation of Article 3.
The Court also notes in this respect that the respondent State has assumed responsibility for treating the applicant’s condition since August 1994. He has become reliant on the medical and palliative care which he is at present receiving and is no doubt psychologically prepared for death in an environment which is both familiar and compassionate. Although it cannot be said that the conditions which would confront him in the receiving country are themselves a breach of the standards of Article 3 his removal would expose him to a real risk of dying under most distressing circumstances and would thus amount to inhuman treatment’ The implementation of the decision to remove the applicant would be a violation of Article 3.
(1997) 24 EHRR 423, 30240/96
European Convention on Human Rights 3
Human Rights
Cited by:

  • Strictly Confined – N v the Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 16-Oct-2003
    The applicant entered the UK illegally. She was unwell and was given treatment. She resisted removal on the grounds that the treatment available to her would be of such a quality as to leave her life threatened.
    Held: D -v- UK should be . .
    [2003] EWCA Civ 1369, Times 23-Oct-03
  • Cited – Samaroo and Sezek v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 17-Jul-2001
    Two foreign nationals with leave to remain in this country committed serious crimes. The Secretary of State ordered their deportation.
    Held: Where the deportation of a foreigner following a conviction here, would conflict with his human . .
    Times 20-Jun-01, Gazette 09-Aug-01, Gazette 06-Sep-01, [2001] EWCA Civ 795, [2001] EWCA Civ 1139, [2002] 1 WLR 348, [2001] UKHRR 1150, [2002] INLR 55
  • Cited – Regina v Special Adjudicator ex parte Ullah; Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 17-Jun-2004
    The applicants had had their requests for asylum refused. They complained that if they were removed from the UK, their article 3 rights would be infringed. If they were returned to Pakistan or Vietnam they would be persecuted for their religious . .
    [2004] UKHL 26, Times 18-Jun-04, [2004] 3 WLR 23, [2004] 2 AC 323, [2004] INLR 381, [2004] UKHRR 995, [2004] 3 All ER 785
  • Cited – Regina v Sectretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Razgar etc HL 17-Jun-2004
    The claimant resisted removal after failure of his claim for asylum, saying that this would have serious adverse consequences to his mental health, infringing his rights under article 8. He appealed the respondent’s certificate that his claim was . .
    [2004] UKHL 27, [2004] 3 WLR 58, Times 21-Jun-04, [2004] 2 AC 369, [2004] 3 All ER 821, [2004] INLR 349
  • Cited – Regina (Burke) v General Medical Council Admn 30-Jul-2004
    The applicant, suffering a life threatening disease, wanted to ensure his continued treatment and revival in the circumstance of losing his own capacity. He said the respondent’s guidelines for doctors were discriminatory and failed to protect his . .
    Times 06-Aug-04, [2004] EWHC 1879 (Admin), [2004] 2 FLR 1121, [2005] 2 WLR 431, [2005] QB 424
  • Cited – N v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 5-May-2005
    The applicant had sought asylum here, but her application was rejected. She was suffering advanced HIV/AIDS. With continued proper treatment she would survive several years. If returned to Uganda she would not receive that treatment and would not . .
    [2005] UKHL 31, [2005] 2 AC 296, [2005] 2 WLR 1124, [2005] INLR 388, (2005) 84 BMLR 126, [2005] 4 All ER 1017, [2005] HRLR 22, [2005] Imm AR 353, [2005] UKHRR 862
  • Cited – Bagdanavicius and Another, Regina (on the Application of) v HL 26-May-2005
    The claimants said they had been subjected to harassment and violence from non-state agents in their home country of Lithuania, and sought asylum.
    Held: It was for the person claiming the protection of the Convention provisions for . .
    [2005] UKHL 38, Times 30-May-05, [2005] 2 WLR 1359, [2005] INLR 422, [2005] 2 AC 668, [2005] HRLR 24, [2005] Imm AR 430, [2005] UKHRR 907, [2005] 4 All ER 263
  • Cited – Adam, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Limbuela v Same; Tesema v Same HL 3-Nov-2005
    The applicants had each entered the UK with a view to seeking asylum, but having failed to seek asylum immediately, they had been refused any assistance, were not allowed to work and so had been left destitute. Each had claimed asylum on the day . .
    [2005] UKHL 66, Times 04-Nov-05, [2005] 3 WLR 1014, [2007] 1 All ER 951, [2006] 1 AC 396
  • Cited – Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Others v Headley and Another ChD 28-Jul-2016
    Beneficiaries’ right to information from estate
    The claimant charities sought payment of interests under the will following the dropping of two life interests. They now requested various documents forming accounts of the estate.
    Held: The charities were entitled to some but not to all of . .
    [2016] EWHC 1948 (Ch)

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 December 2020; Ref: scu.186587