Soering v The United Kingdom: ECHR 7 Jul 1989

(Plenary Court) The applicant was held in prison in the UK, pending extradition to the US to face allegations of murder, for which he faced the risk of the death sentence, which would be unlawful in the UK. If extradited, a representation would be made to the judge at the time of sentencing that the United Kingdom wished that the death penalty should not be imposed but there was no promise that that wish would be respected. The likelihood that he may be detained for a long period on death row, might itself engage article 3. The death penalty itself did not breach the Convention. Nevertheless the likelihood was that after extradition he would be treated in breach of his convention rights. Where the Convention right which it was maintained was infringed was, as here, an absolute right, the degree of scrutiny required of any application was the greater. As to Art 1: ‘Article 1 . . sets a limit, notably territorial, on the reach of the Convention. In particular the engagement undertaken by a Contracting State is confined to ‘securing’ (‘reconnaitre’ in the French text) the listed rights and freedoms to persons within its own ‘jurisdiction’. Further, the Convention does not govern the actions of States not Parties to it, nor does it purport to be a means of requiring the Contracting States to impose Convention standards on other States’. And ‘inherent in the whole of the Convention is a search for fair balance between the demands of the general interest of the community and the requirements of the protection of the individual’s human rights’

R Ryssdal, P
14038/88, (1989) 11 EHRR 439, [1989] ECHR 14, ECLI:CE:ECHR:1989:0707JUD001403888
Worldlii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 1 3
Human Rights
Citing:
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Bugdaycay HL 19-Feb-1986
Three applicants had lied on entry to secure admission, stayed for a considerable time, and had been treated as illegal immigrants under section 33(1). The fourth’s claim that upon being returned he would been killed, had been rejected without . .

Cited by:
CitedHari Dhima v Immigration Appeal Tribunal Admn 8-Feb-2002
The appellate sought judicial review to challenge an order for his return to Albania. He said that he would be subject to persecution from communist sympathizers, and his life was at risk for a blood feud. Adjudicators had variously accepted and . .
CitedAhsan Ullah, Thi Lien Do v Special Adjudicator, Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 16-Dec-2002
The appellants challenged refusal of asylum, claiming that their return to countries which did not respect their religion, would infringe their right to freedom of religious expression. It was accepted that the applicants did not have a sufficient . .
DistinguishedBarnette v Government of the United States of America; United States Government v Montgomery (No 2) CA 24-Mar-2003
The appellant sought to resist the registration here of a confiscation order made in the US. She argued it would be contrary to the interests of justice to register it, that the US procedure would be unlawful here under the Convention, the appeal . .
CitedMohammadi v Advocate General Scotland HCJ 2-May-2003
The applicant had claimed asylum. His claim had been rejected and an order made for repatriation to Iran. His appeal was lodged two days out of time. He appealed its rejection. The solicitors accepted full responsibility for the delay.
Held: . .
CitedSecretary of State for the Home Department, Regina on the Application of Soumahoro; Regina on the Application of Nadarajah; and similar CA 19-Jun-2003
In each case asylum applicants had been certified as suitable to be returned to the first country at which they had arrived on fleeing their home countries.
Held: To determine whether article 8 was engaged given the territoriality principle, . .
ApprovedCruz Varas And Others v Sweden ECHR 20-Mar-1991
Hudoc No violation of Art. 3; No violation of Art. 8; No violation of Art. 25-1 ‘Although the present case concerns expulsion as opposed to a decision to extradite, the Court considers that the above [Soering] . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Home Department ex parte Turgut CA 28-Jan-2000
When the Court of Appeal was asked to look at the decision of the Home Secretary on an appeal to him for asylum, the court should investigate the factual circumstances which lay behind the decision. The court must follow the practice of the European . .
CitedN v the Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 16-Oct-2003
The applicant entered the UK illegally. She was unwell and was given treatment. She resisted removal on the grounds that the treatment available to her would be of such a quality as to leave her life threatened.
Held: D -v- UK should be . .
CitedMohamed Moneim Al-Fayed for Judicial Review of A Decision of the Lord Advocate To Refuse To Instruct A Public Inquiry Into the Death of Emad Al-Fayed OHCS 12-Mar-2004
The claimant sought judicial review of the minister’s decision not to order a judicial public investigation of the death of his son in a car crash in Paris.
Held: The primary obligation to undertake an enquiry fell upon France. The obligation . .
CitedRegina v Special Adjudicator ex parte Ullah; Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 17-Jun-2004
The applicants had had their requests for asylum refused. They complained that if they were removed from the UK, their article 3 rights would be infringed. If they were returned to Pakistan or Vietnam they would be persecuted for their religious . .
CitedLough and others v First Secretary of State Bankside Developments Ltd CA 12-Jul-2004
The appellants challenged the grant of planning permission for neighbouring land. They sought to protect their own amenities and the Tate Modern Gallery.
Held: The only basis of the challenge was under article 8. Cases established of a breach . .
CitedLough and others v First Secretary of State Bankside Developments Ltd CA 12-Jul-2004
The appellants challenged the grant of planning permission for neighbouring land. They sought to protect their own amenities and the Tate Modern Gallery.
Held: The only basis of the challenge was under article 8. Cases established of a breach . .
CitedGovernment of the United States of America v Barnette and Montgomery (No 2) HL 22-Jul-2004
The applicant sought to resist orders for the return to the US of what were alleged to be the proceeds (direct or indirect) of a fraud committed there. She had been in contempt of the court in the US and was a fugitive here. She complained that the . .
CitedRegina on the Application of B and others v Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office CA 18-Oct-2004
The applicant children had been detained in immigration camps in Australia. They escaped and sought refuge in the British High Commission in Melbourne and claimed diplomatic asylum. They claimed in damages after being returned to the authorities in . .
CitedMcElhinney v Ireland; Al-Adsani v United Kingdom; Fogarty v United Kingdom ECHR 21-Nov-2001
Grand Chamber – The first applicant said he had been injured by a shot fired by a British soldier who had been carried for two miles into the Republic of Ireland, clinging to the applicant’s vehicle following an incident at a checkpoint.
Held: . .
CitedBagdanavicius and Another, Regina (on the Application of) v HL 26-May-2005
The claimants said they had been subjected to harassment and violence from non-state agents in their home country of Lithuania, and sought asylum.
Held: It was for the person claiming the protection of the Convention provisions for . .
CitedA and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No 2) HL 8-Dec-2005
The applicants had been detained following the issue of certificates issued by the respondent that they posed a terrorist threat. They challenged the decisions of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission saying that evidence underlying the . .
CitedLoizidou v Turkey ECHR 23-Mar-1995
(Preliminary objections) The ECHR considered the situation in northern Cyprus when it was asked as to Turkey’s preliminary objections to admissibility: ‘although Article 1 sets limits on the reach of the Convention, the concept of ‘jurisdiction’ . .
CitedGentle and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v the Prime Minister and others Admn 20-Dec-2005
The applicants sought leave to bring judicial review of the decisions which led to the invasion of Iraq. They were relatives of servicemen who had died there.
Held: The court’s only duty at this stage was to ask whether there was an arguable . .
CitedGentle, Regina (on the Application of) and Another v The Prime Minister and Another HL 9-Apr-2008
The appellants were mothers of two servicemen who had died whilst on active service in Iraq. They appealed refusal to grant a public inquiry. There had already been coroners inquests. They said that Article 2 had been infringed.
Held: The . .
CitedEM (Lebanon) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 22-Oct-2008
The claimant challenged the respondent’s decision to order the return of herself and her son to Lebanon.
Held: The test for whether a claimant’s rights would be infringed to such an extent as to prevent their return home was a strict one, but . .
CitedF v United Kingdom ECHR 22-Jun-2004
An Iranian citizen claimed asylum saying that he feared persecution as a homosexual. When his application was rejected, he claimed that there would be a breach of article 8 if he were to be removed to Iran because a law in that country prohibited . .
CitedWellington Regina, (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 10-Dec-2008
It was sought to extradite the defendant to face trial for two alleged murders. He now challenged the order for his extradition saying that his treatment in Missouri would amount to inhuman or degrading punishment in that if convicted he would face . .
CitedAl-Saadoon and Another, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence Admn 19-Dec-2008
The two applicants had been detained by the armed forces in Iraq suspected of murder. They sought release before being transferred to the civilian authorities for trial saying that the trials would not be fair. The respondent denied that the . .
CitedAustin and Another v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis HL 28-Jan-2009
The claimants had been present during a demonstration policed by the respondent. They appealed against dismissal of their claims for false imprisonment having been prevented from leaving Oxford Circus for over seven hours. The claimants appealed . .
CitedRB (Algeria) and Another v Secretary of State for the Home Department; OO (Jordan) v Same; MT (Algeria) v Same HL 18-Feb-2009
Fairness of SIAC procedures
Each defendant was to be deported for fear of involvement in terrorist activities, but feared that if returned to their home countries, they would be tortured. The respondent had obtained re-assurances from the destination governments that this . .
CitedSecretary of State for Defence v Smith, Regina (on the Application of) CA 18-May-2009
The soldier had died of heatstroke after exercises in Iraq. The Minister appealed against a finding that the circumstances of his death required an investigation compliant with Article 2 human rights, saying that he was not subject to such . .
CitedMcKinnon, Regina (On the Application of) v Secretary Of State for Home Affairs Admn 31-Jul-2009
Assurances for Extradition
Extradition of the defendant was sought to the US to face allegations of hacking into defence computers there. He said this would infringe his article 3 rights, saying that he suffered Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Held: The application failed. US . .
CitedBary and Another, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 7-Aug-2009
The defendants resisted extradition to the US to face charges of conspiracy to murder US citizens, saying that as suspected terrorists the likely prison conditions in which they would be held would amount to inhuman or degrading treatment or . .
CitedHM Treasury v Ahmed and Others SC 27-Jan-2010
The claimants objected to orders made freezing their assets under the 2006 Order, after being included in the Consolidated List of suspected members of terrorist organisations.
Held: The orders could not stand. Such orders were made by the . .
CitedNorris v Government of United States of America SC 24-Feb-2010
The defendant faced extradition to the USA on charges of the obstruction of justice. He challenged the extradition on the basis that it would interfere with his article 8 rights to family life, given that the offence was merely ancillary, the result . .
CitedMAK and RK v The United Kingdom ECHR 23-Mar-2010
mak_ukECHR10
When RK, a nine year old girl was taken to hospital, with bruises, the paediatrician wrongly suspecting sexual abuse, took blood samples and intimate photographs in the absence of the parents and without their consent.
Held: The doctor had . .
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.
CitedZagorski and Baze, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Others Admn 29-Nov-2010
The claimants, in the US awaiting execution for murders, challenged the permitting by the defendant for export of the chemical Sodium Thipental which would be used for their execution. The respondent said that its use in general anaesthesia practice . .
CitedEquality and Human Rights Commission v Prime Minister and Others Admn 3-Oct-2011
The defendant had published a set of guidelines for intelligence officers called upon to detain and interrogate suspects. The defendant said that the guidelines could only be tested against individual real life cases, and that the court should not . .
CitedSmith and Others v The Ministry of Defence SC 19-Jun-2013
The claimants were PRs of men who had died or were severely injured on active duty in Iraq being variously fired at by mistake by other coalition forces, or dying in vehicles attacked by roadside bombs. Appeals were heard against a finding that the . .
CitedEM (Eritrea), Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 19-Feb-2014
SSHD must examine safety of country for return
The Court was asked: ‘Is an asylum seeker or refugee who resists his or her return from the United Kingdom to Italy (the country in which she or he first sought or was granted asylum) required to establish that there are in Italy ‘systemic . .
CitedSandiford, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs CA 22-May-2013
The appellant, a British national and European citizen was in prison in Bali convicted of a criminal charge for which she might face the death penalty. Having insufficient funds she sought legal assistance from the respondent for hr appeal, and now . .
CitedSandiford, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs SC 16-Jul-2014
The appellant a British Citizen awaited execution in Singapore after conviction on a drugs charge. The only way she might get legal help for a further appeal would be if she was given legal aid by the respondent. She sought assistance both on Human . .
CitedIsmail, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 6-Jul-2016
The claimant ha been involved in the management of a company operating a ferry in Egypt. The claimant had been acquitted in Egypt of criminal liability, but then convicted in his absence on appeal, after submissions made on his behalf were . .

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Human Rights, Criminal Sentencing, Extradition

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.165050