Keegan v United Kingdom: ECHR 18 Jul 2006

The claimant had been the subject of a raid by armed police on his home. The raid was a mistake. He complained that the English legal system, in rejecting his claim had not allowed him to assert that the police action had been disproportionate.
Held: The claimant’s right to respect for his home had been infringed. The question was whether the raid was proportionate. To test this the claimant was required under English law to establish malice on the part of the police. That did not allow the required test: ‘The fact that the police did not act maliciously is not decisive under the Convention which is geared to protecting against abuse of power, however motivated or caused (see, mutatis mutandis, McLeod, cited above, where the police suspected a breach of the peace might occur). The Court cannot agree that a limitation of actions for damages to cases of malice is necessary to protect the police in their vital functions of investigating crime. The exercise of powers to interfere with home and private life must be confined within reasonable bounds to minimise the impact of such measures on the personal sphere of the individual guaranteed under Article 8 which is pertinent to security and well-being . . In a case where basic steps to verify the connection between the address and the offence under investigation were not effectively carried out, the resulting police action, which caused the applicants considerable fear and alarm, cannot be regarded as proportionate.
As argued by the applicants, this finding does not imply that any search, which turns out to be unsuccessful, would fail the proportionality test, only that a failure to take reasonable and available precautions may do so.’


Times 09-Aug-2006, 28867/03, [2006] ECHR 764, (2007) 44 EHRR 33




Human Rights


Appeal fromKeegan and Others v Chief Constable of Merseyside CA 3-Jul-2003
The police had information suggesting (wrongly) that a fugitive resided at an address. An armed raid followed, and the claimant occupant sought damages.
Held: The tort of malicious procurement of a search warrant required it to be established . .
CitedOlsson v Sweden (No 1) ECHR 24-Mar-1988
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Preliminary objection rejected (non-exhaustion); Violation of Art. 8; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses award – domestic proceedings; Costs . .
CitedMcLeod v The United Kingdom ECHR 23-Sep-1998
A Police Officer assisting in recovery of items ordered to be returned in matrimonial proceedings acted in excess of his powers and trespassed in entering house where there was no immediate threat of breach of the peace, and no sight of disorder. An . .
CitedCostello-Roberts v The United Kingdom ECHR 25-Mar-1993
‘Slippering’, a punishment by hitting a child with a slipper, when used as part of school discipline was not a degrading punishment under the convention. Conduct must attain a minimum level of severity to engage the operation of the Convention. . .
CitedFunke v France ECHR 25-Feb-1993
M. Funke successfully challenged his conviction for failing to provide documents which the customs authorities had demanded of him, on the grounds that his rights under Article 6 had been infringed: ‘The Court notes that the customs secured Mr. . .
CitedBoyle and Rice v The United Kingdom ECHR 27-Apr-1988
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 8; Costs and expenses award – Convention proceedings
The first applicant had been convicted and sentenced for murder and subsequent acts of . .
CitedVilvarajah and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 30-Oct-1991
Five Tamils were refused asylum in the UK and returned to Sri Lanka but then continued to suffer ill-treatment. Their complaints to Strasbourg were rejected under both Articles 3 and 13, but with regard to Article 3, it held: ‘108. The court’s . .
CitedOlsson v Sweden (No 2) ECHR 27-Nov-1992
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Lack of jurisdiction; No violation of Art. 6-1; No violation of Art. 8; Violation of Art. 8; Violation of Art. 6-1 (access); No separate issue under Art. 53; . .

Cited by:

Principle judgmentKeegan v United Kingdom ECHR 3-Dec-2009
Case closed. . .
CitedWilliams v Dyfed and Powys Police CA 22-Nov-2010
The claimants appealed against dismissal of their claim for damages under the 1998 Act. The house had been searched under warrant. They said that the constable obtaining the warrant had acted on information he knew or ought to have known was false. . .
CitedFitzpatrick and Others v The Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis QBD 11-Jan-2012
The claimants, two solicitors and their employer firm sought damages alleging trespass and malicious procurement by police officers in obtaining and executing search warrants against the firm in 2007 when they were investigating suspected offences . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Police

Updated: 06 September 2022; Ref: scu.244743