The pursuer said that he had been assaulted whilst in the custody of the responder’s officers. He began civil actions after his complaint was rejected. He repeated the allegation of the assault, and complained also as to the conduct of the investigation, saying that it had infringed his Artricle 3 human rights. The Sheriff rejected the claims, and his appeal was rejected as incompetent by the Court of Session.
Held: The appeal succeeded.
The Court of Session is largely master of its own procedures, and its decisions on such should not be disturbed unless shown to be wrong in principle. This was such a case. The pursuer was right to seek damages rather than judicial review since a review of the decision would be an inadequate remedy.
As the objection that was taken to the competency of the action as a whole was not well founded, it is open to this court to differ from the Extra Division on this issue too and reject the objection. The court must take a pragmatic approach and not allow procedure to become the master of justice. The case was remitted for the Court of Session to admit and hear the appeal.
Lord Hope, Deputy President, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Reed
 UKSC 57, UKSC 2011/0258
Bailii Summary, Bailii, SC Summary, SC
Human Rights Act 1998 8(3), European Convention on Human Rights 3, Scotland Act 1998 100(3)
Cited – Cowan and Sons v Duke of Buccleuch HL 1876
Lord Chancellor Cairns said: ‘In matters of procedure and practice, and still more in matters of discretion, and, above all, where the Judges of the Court below are unanimous as to a matter of procedure and practice, the uniform practice of your . .
Cited – Docherty and Others v The Scottish Ministers SCS 2-Sep-2011
The pursuers each sought damages, saying that the conditions in which they had been held whilst prisoners in HMP Barlinnie had infringed their human rights.
Held: It would be contrary to public policy and an abuse of process for a person to . .
Appeal from – Ruddy v Rae, Chief Constable Strathclyde Police and Another SCS 2-Mar-2011
The pursuer had been arrested under warrant. He complained that other officers in Strathclyde assualted him when iin custody. That complaint was rejected after investigation, and proceedings were refused either by way of criminal prosecution or . .
Cited – Cocks v Thanet District Council HL 25-Nov-1981
The applicant had been given temporary accomodation under the Act. He sought to enforce the obligation on the respondent to house him permanently by an action in the county court. The authority said the action should have been by judicial review. . .
Cited – Wandsworth London Borough Council v Winder HL 1985
Rent demands were made by a local authority landlord on one of its tenants. The local authority, using its powers under the Act, resolved to increase rents generally. The tenant refused to pay the increased element of the rent. He argued that the . .
Cited – SC, Re Judicial Review SCS 3-Aug-2011
Cited – ID and others v The Home Office (BAIL for Immigration Detainees intervening) CA 27-Jan-2005
The claimants sought damages and other reliefs after being wrongfully detained by immigration officers for several days, during which they had been detained at a detention centre and left locked up when it burned down, being released only by other . .
Cited – Clark v University of Lincolnshire and Humberside CA 14-Apr-2000
A student had been failed after being falsely accused of cheating, but the academic review board, on remarking the paper marked it as zero.
Held: Where a University did not have the supervisory jurisdiction of a visitor, a breach of contract . .
Cited – Roy v Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster Family Practitioner Committee HL 6-Feb-1992
The respondent had withheld part of the plaintiff’s GP payments saying that he had failed to devote himself full time to his practice. The plaintiff sued, and the defendant sought to strike out his application, saying that his application had to be . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Human Rights, Judicial Review
Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.466371