Davies v The United Kingdom: ECHR 16 Jul 2002

The applicant had been subject to applications for his disqualification from acting as a company director. The Secretary of State waited until the last day before issuing proceedings, and the proceedings were then delayed another three years pending the outcome of criminal proceedings against others. The government responded that the proceedings were complex, and the applicant himself had contributed to the delay by his own applications.
Held: The total delay was unjustified and inordinate, and the delay infringed the applicant’s right to a determination within a reasonable period of time. The domestic court had criticised the respondent for its delay. The proceedings had not been pursued with diligence. The court would not make an award of damages for financial losses, but that did not prevent an award for the stress of the delay, and an award was made in this case.
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 6-1; Pecuniary damage – claim rejected; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses partial award – Convention proceedings


M Pellonpaa, President and Judges Sir Nicolas Bratza, A. Pastor Ridruejo, E. Palm, M. Fischbach, J. Casadevall and S. Pavlovschi, Section Registrar M. O’Boyle


Times 01-Aug-2002, 42007/98, [2002] ECHR 597, (2002) 35 EHRR 720, [2002] ECHR 602


Worldlii, Bailii


Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 6, European Convention on Human Rights 6.1


Human Rights


CitedIn Re Carecraft Construction Co Ltd ChD 13-Oct-1993
A court must hear evidence before disqualifying directors. Though the Director and the Secretary of State might reach an agreement as to what should happen, they could not displace the court in deciding what order should be made, and in making that . .
CitedRobins v The United Kingdom ECHR 23-Sep-1997
Over-long delay by court system in settling amount of costs constituted breach of human rights; order made in 1991, not settled till 1995 . .
CitedSecretary of State for Trade and Industry v Davies and Others CA 7-Jun-1996
The lack of a good reason for delay was not terminal to a company director disqualification application. . .
CitedKingsley v The United Kingdom (No 2) ECHR 28-May-2002
The finding that a party had been denied a fair trial may of itself be sufficient compensation. The applicant had been excluded from management of licensed casinos. The appeal board had been found to have given the appearance of bias against him. . .
CitedAbdulaziz etc v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-May-1985
Three women, all lawfully settled in the UK, had married third-country nationals but, at first, the Secretary of State had refused permission for their husbands to remain with them, or join them, in the UK.
Held: The refusals of permission had . .

Cited by:

CitedEastaway v The United Kingdom ECHR 20-Jul-2004
The applicant had been proceeded against after the collapse of companies in which he was involved with very substantial debts. The proceedings had begun in July 1990, and lasted nearly nine years.
Held: Where proceedings could be expected to . .
CitedGreenfield, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Feb-2005
The appellant had been charged with and disciplined for a prison offence. He was refused legal assistance at his hearing, and it was accepted that the proceedings involved the determination of a criminal charge within the meaning of article 6 of the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Company, Damages

Updated: 06 June 2022; Ref: scu.174387