E and Others v The United Kingdom: ECHR 26 Nov 2002

The four applicants had been abused by their stepfather, and sought investigation of the local authority for failing to protect them. They had been compensated by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in part, but now sought a remedy from the local authority ombudsman who denied jurisdiction.
Held: Social services should have been aware of the situation, and of the abuser’s history. The pattern of lack of investigation communication and co-operation by them influenced the course of events, and article 3 had been infringed. The Ombudsman’s lack of jurisdiction had no remedy in domestic law, and certain grievances of the complainants were unresolved. Article 13 had been infringed. ‘The Government submitted that it was not correct to assert that this House of Lords decision [in X v Bedfordshire, M v Newham, et al] prevented all claims in negligence against local authorities in the exercise of their child protection duties, and argued that it could not be regarded as beyond doubt that these applicants would have failed as, in the case of these applicants, the social services arguably were negligent in the way they approached operational, as well as policy, matters.’


Times 04-Dec-2002, Gazette 16-Jan-2003, 33218/96, [2002] ECHR 763, [2002] ECHR 769


Worldlii, Bailii


European Convention on Human Rights 3 13

Cited by:

CitedJD v East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust and others HL 21-Apr-2005
Parents of children had falsely and negligently been accused of abusing their children. The children sought damages for negligence against the doctors or social workers who had made the statements supporting the actions taken. The House was asked if . .
CitedPlymouth City Council v HM Coroner for the County of Devon and Another Admn 27-May-2005
The local authority in whose care the deceased child had been held challenged a decision by the coroner not to limit his inquiry to the last few days of the child’s life. The coroner had decided that he had an obligation to conduct a wider enquiry . .
CitedVan Colle v Hertfordshire Police QBD 10-Mar-2006
The claimants claimed for the estate of their murdered son. He had been waiting to give evidence in a criminal trial, and had asked the police for support having received threats. Other witnesses had also suffered intimidation including acts of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Local Government

Updated: 06 June 2022; Ref: scu.178287