Ramsahai and Others v The Netherlands: ECHR 10 Nov 2005

(Grand Chamber) The police had shot someone suspected of stealing a scooter. The family complained that they had not been given full access to the documents seen by the enquiry into his death.
Held: In order to be ‘effective’ as this expression is to be understood in the context of Article 2 of the Convention, an investigation into a death that engages the responsibility of a Contracting Party under that Article must firstly be adequate. That is, it must be capable of leading to the identification and punishment of those responsible. This is not an obligation of result, but one of means. The authorities must have taken the reasonable steps available to them to secure the evidence concerning the incident. Any deficiency in the investigation which undermines its ability to identify the perpetrator or perpetrators will risk falling foul of this standard.
Secondly, for the investigation to be ‘effective’ in this sense it may generally be regarded as necessary for the persons responsible for it and carrying it out to be independent from those implicated in the events. This means not only a lack of hierarchical or institutional connection but also a practical independence. What is at stake is nothing less than public confidence in the state’s monopoly on the use of force.’


52391/99, [2007] ECHR 393, (2008) 46 EHRR 43




European Convention on Human Rights 2


Human Rights

Cited by:

CitedJL, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice; Regina (L (A Patient)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 26-Nov-2008
The prisoner was left with serious injury after attempting suicide in prison. He said that there was a human rights duty to hold an investigation into the circumstances leading up to this.
Held: There existed a similar duty to hold an enhanced . .
CitedSaunders and Tucker, Regina (on the Application of) v The Association of Chief Police Officers and others Admn 10-Oct-2008
The deceased had been shot by police during an armed siege. His family complained that the Independent Police Complaints Commission had declined to order the officers not to confer with each other before making statements.
Held: The authority . .
CitedMorrison v The Independent Police Complaints Commission and Others Admn 26-Oct-2009
The claimant made a complaint of a serious assault by the police, by the use of a Taser. The defendant had referred the complaint to the IPCC, who said that they should investigate it themselves. The claimant said that to accord with his human . .
CitedSmith, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence and Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner (Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening) SC 30-Jun-2010
The deceased soldier died of heat exhaustion whilst on active service in Iraq. It was said that he was owed a duty under human rights laws, and that any coroner’s inquest should be a fuller one to satisfy the state’s duty under Article 2.
CitedFinucane, Re Application for Judicial Review SC 27-Feb-2019
(Northern Ireland) The deceased solicitor was murdered in his home in 1989, allegedly by loyalists. They had never been identified, though collusion between security forces and a loyalist paramilitary was established. The ECHR and a judge led . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Police

Updated: 06 February 2022; Ref: scu.234790