Equality and Human Rights Commission v Prime Minister and Others: Admn 3 Oct 2011

The defendant had published a set of guidelines for intelligence officers called upon to detain and interrogate suspects. The defendant said that the guidelines could only be tested against individual real life cases, and that the court should not answer hypothetical questions. The objection lay to reactions to anticipated torture and mistreatment by third party countries.
Held: Permission to apply for review was granted, but the review itself was refused. Standing was provided by section 30 of the 2006 Act.
The guidance was addressed to the officers and required them to report matters to Ministers, who, it must be presumed, would respond lawfully. It set out difference reactions where mistreatment was known of, and where there was a low risk of mistreatment. Reactions included withdrawing and reporting requirements.
The Commission’s substantial challenge was that the the guidance used a ‘serious risk’ test for secondary liability, but said that that was not the standard applicable at law. ‘In the context of the Guidance and taking it for what it is, there is no material difference between a ‘real risk’ and a ‘serious risk’ of torture or CIDT taking place.’


Sir Anthony May P, Keith J


[2011] EWHC 2401 (Admin), [2012] 1 WLR 1389, [2011] UKHRR 1287




Equality Act 2006 1 30, United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel or Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984), Criminal Justice Act 1988 134(1)


CitedJohnson v Youden KBD 1950
For a charge of aiding and abetting, the defendant must be shown to have been aware of the essential elements of his acts which constituted the complete crime. However, that may be inferred if a defendant shuts his eyes to the obvious.
Lord . .
CitedIskandarov v Russia ECHR 23-Sep-2010
. .
CitedAbdulazhon Isakov v Russia ECHR 8-Jul-2010
. .
CitedAl-Haq, Regina (On the Application of) v Secretary Of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Admn 27-Jul-2009
The claimant sought a declaration that the UK was in breach of its international obligations. The claimant was a non-governmental human rights organisation based in Palestine. The respondent argued that the issue was beyond the court’s jurisdiction, . .
CitedIsmoilov And Others v Russia ECHR 24-Apr-2008
The court criticised the Russian system in prisons: ‘in the absence of clear legal provisions establishing the procedure for ordering and extending detention with a view to extradition and setting up time-limits for such detention, the deprivation . .
CitedRoyal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom v Department of Health and Social Security HL 2-Jan-1981
The court was asked whether nurses could properly involve themselves in a pregnancy termination procedure not known when the Act was passed, and in particular, whether a pregnancy was ‘terminated by a medical practitioner’, when it was carried out . .
CitedSaadi v Italy (United Kingdom intervening) ECHR 28-Feb-2008
(Grand Chamber) When considering the appropriateness of a deportation order to a country with which the deporting country had a memorandum of understanding that the destination country would not torture the deportee, a court must look beyond the . .
CitedGillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority and Department of Health and Social Security HL 17-Oct-1985
Lawfulness of Contraceptive advice for Girls
The claimant had young daughters. She challenged advice given to doctors by the second respondent allowing them to give contraceptive advice to girls under 16, and the right of the first defendant to act upon that advice. She objected that the . .
CitedIn re Officer L HL 31-Jul-2007
Police officers appealed against refusal of orders protecting their anonymity when called to appear before the Robert Hamill Inquiry.
Held: ‘The tribunal accordingly approached the matter properly under article 2 in seeking to ascertain . .
CitedMamatkulov and Askarov v Turkey ECHR 4-Feb-2005
(Grand Chamber) The applicants had resisted extradition to Uzbekistan from Turkey to stand trial on very serious charges, saying that if returned they would be tortured. There was material to show that that was not a fanciful fear. On application . .
CitedRegina v Bryce CACD 18-May-2004
The defendant said that his involvement in the murder of which he had been convicted had been secondary only. He was alleged to have transported the killer and the gun which he used to commit the murder to a caravan near the victim’s home so that . .
CitedRegina v Woollin HL 2-Apr-1998
The defendant appealed against his conviction for the murder of his child. He had thrown the child to the floor, hitting the head. He said that he had not intended to kill the child.
Held: On a murder charge, where the short direction on . .
CitedRegina v Powell (Anthony) and Another; Regina v English HL 30-Oct-1997
When the court looked at the issue of foreseeability of murder in an allegation of joint enterprise, there was no requirement to show intent by the secondary party. The forseeability of the risk of the principal committing the offence from the point . .
CitedSoering v The United Kingdom ECHR 7-Jul-1989
(Plenary Court) The applicant was held in prison in the UK, pending extradition to the US to face allegations of murder, for which he faced the risk of the death sentence, which would be unlawful in the UK. If extradited, a representation would be . .
CitedHertfordshire Police v Van Colle; Smith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police HL 30-Jul-2008
Police Obligations to Witnesses is Limited
A prosecution witness was murdered by the accused shortly before his trial. The parents of the deceased alleged that the failure of the police to protect their son was a breach of article 2.
Held: The House was asked ‘If the police are alerted . .
CitedRegina v Benjafield, Regina v Leal, Regina v Rezvi, Regina v Milford HL 24-Jan-2002
Statutory provisions which reversed the burden of proof in cases involving drug smuggling and other repeat offenders, allowing confiscation orders to be made were not necessarily in contravention of the article 6 right. However the question of . .
CitedRegina v Bartle and Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Others, ex parte Pinochet Ugarte; Regina v Evans and Similar (No 3) HL 24-Mar-1999
An application to extradite a former head of state for an offence which was not at the time an offence under English law would fail, but could proceed in respect of allegations of acts after that time. No immunity was intended for heads of state. . .
CitedA and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No 2) HL 8-Dec-2005
Evidence from 3rd Party Torture Inadmissible
The applicants had been detained following the issue of certificates issued by the respondent that they posed a terrorist threat. They challenged the decisions of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission saying that evidence underlying the . .
CitedJones v Ministry of Interior for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and others HL 14-Jun-2006
The claimants said that they had been tortured by Saudi police when arrested on false charges. They sought damages, and appealed against an order denying jurisdiction over the defendants. They said that the allegation of torture allowed an exception . .

Cited by:

CitedAli Hussein v Secretary of State for Defence Admn 1-Feb-2013
The claimant sought to challenge the legality of techniques of interrogation intended to be used by forces members detaining person captured in Afghanistan. He had himself been mistreated by such officers in Iraq. The defendant denied he had . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Administrative, Human Rights, Crime, Armed Forces

Updated: 20 September 2022; Ref: scu.444868