Hassan v The United Kingdom (GC): ECHR 16 Sep 2014

Grand Chamber – The applicant alleged that his brother was arrested and detained by British forces in Iraq and was subsequently found dead in unexplained circumstances. He complained under Article 5-1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Convention that the arrest and detention were arbitrary and unlawful and lacking in procedural safeguards and under Articles 2, 3 and 5 that the United Kingdom authorities failed to carry out an investigation into the circumstances of the detention, ill-treatment and death.
Held: ‘the powers of internment under the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions, relied on by the Government as a permitted ground for the capture and detention of Tarek Hassan, are in direct conflict with Article 5 – 1 of the Convention. The Court does not have any legitimate tools at its disposal, as a court of law, to remedy this clash of norms. It must therefore give priority to the Convention, as its role is limited under Article 19 to ‘[ensuring] the observance of the engagements undertaken by the High Contracting Parties in the Convention and the Protocols thereto’. By attempting to reconcile the irreconcilable, the majority’s finding today does not, with respect, reflect an accurate understanding of the scope and substance of the fundamental right to liberty under the Convention, as reflected in its purpose and its historical origins in the atrocities of the international armed conflicts of the Second World War.’

Dean Spielmann, P
29750/09 – Grand Chamber Judgment, [2014] ECHR 936, [2014] ECHR 1162
Bailii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights
Human Rights

Human Rights, Coroners, Armed Forces, News

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.536666