Fox, Campbell and Hartley v The United Kingdom: ECHR 30 Aug 1990

The court considered the required basis for a reasonable suspicion to found an arrest without a warrant: ‘The ‘reasonableness’ of the suspicion on which an arrest must be based forms an essential part of the safeguard against arbitrary arrest and detention which is laid down in Article 5(1)(c). The court agrees with the Commission and the government that having a ‘reasonable suspicion’ presupposes the existence of facts or information which would satisfy an objective observer that the person concerned may have committed the offence. What may be regarded as ‘reasonable’ will however depend upon all the circumstances.’
As to the duty to inform a suspect about the reason and purpose of hs arrest: ‘Paragraph (2) of Article 5 contains the elementary safeguard that any person arrested should know why he is being deprived of his liberty. This protection is an integral part of the scheme of protection afforded by Article 5: by virtue of paragraph (2) any person arrested must be told in simple, non-technical language that he can understand, the essential legal and factual grounds for his arrest, so as to be able, if he sees fit, to apply to a court to challenge its lawfulness in accordance with paragraph (4). Whilst this information must be conveyed ‘promptly’ (in French: ‘dans le plus court delai’), it need not be related in its entirety by the arresting officer at the very moment of the arrest. Whether the content and promptness of the information conveyed were sufficient is to be assessed in each case according to its special features.’
ECHR Judgment (Merits) – Violation of Art. 5-1; No violation of Art. 5-2; Violation of Art. 5-5; Not necessary to examine Art. 5-4 and 13; Just satisfaction reserved.
12244/86, 12245/86, (1990) 13 EHRR 157, [1990] ECHR 18, 12383/86
Bailii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 5(2)
Human Rights
Cited by:
CitedCumming and others v Chief Constable of Northumbria Police CA 17-Dec-2003
The six claimants sought damages for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment. Each had been arrested on an officer’s suspicion. They operated CCTV equipment, and it appeared that tapes showing the commission of an offence had been tampered with. Each . .
CitedTaylor (A Child Proceeding By his Mother and Litigation Friend C M Taylor) v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police CA 6-Jul-2004
The Chief Constable appealed aganst a finding that his officers had wrongfully arrested and imprisoned the claimant. The claimant was 10 years old when arrested, and complained that the officers had not properly advised him of the nature and purpose . .
CitedAl-Fayed and others v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and others CA 25-Nov-2004
The appellants appealed from dismissal of their claims for wrongful imprisonment by the respondent. Each had attended at a police station for interview on allegations of theft. They had been arrested and held pending interview and then released. Mr . .
CitedA v Secretary of State for the Home Department, and X v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Dec-2004
The applicants had been imprisoned and held without trial, being suspected of international terrorism. No criminal charges were intended to be brought. They were foreigners and free to return home if they wished, but feared for their lives if they . .
CitedHough v Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police CA 14-Feb-2001
Where a constable arrested someone based upon information on the police national computer, he was not to be held accountable for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, if the information upon which that had in turn been based, did not justify the . .
CitedSecretary of State for the Home Department v AF AM and AN etc CA 17-Oct-2008
The claimants were subject to non-derogating control orders, being non EU nationals suspected of terrorism. They now said that they had not had a compatible hearing as to the issue of whether they were in fact involved in terrorist activity.
See AlsoFox, Campbell And Hartley v The United Kingdom ECHR 27-Mar-1991
ECHR Judgment (Just Satisfaction) – Costs and expenses award – Convention proceedings; Pecuniary damage – claim rejected; Non-pecuniary damage – finding of violation sufficient. . .
CitedSher and Others v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and Others Admn 21-Jul-2010
The claimants, Pakistani students in the UK on student visas, had been arrested and held by the defendants under the 2000 Act before being released 13 days later without charge. They were at first held incognito. They said that their arrest and . .
CitedMcCann v Crown Prosecution Service Admn 21-Aug-2015
Appeal by case stated against conviction for obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty. The appellant had been protesting. She, correctly, thought the land to be a rivate highway. The police officer had thought it a public hghway and . .
CitedLee-Hirons v Secretary of State for Justice SC 27-Jul-2016
The appellant had been detained in a mental hospital after a conviction. Later released, he was recalled, but he was not given written reasons as required by a DoH circular. However the SS referred the recall immediately to the Tribunal. He appealed . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 06 January 2021; Ref: scu.165079