(Commission) The British court had ordered a Jordanian father to return his daughter to England. The English mother contacted the British consulate in Amman asking it to ‘obtain the custody of her daughter from the Jordanian Court’. The Consulate reported on the child’s well-being, and provided the mother with a list of lawyers practising in Jordan and registered her daughter in her passport, but with no result. She complained that the Consul had failed ‘to intervene in her domestic dispute and help reunite mother and child’, so allegedly violating articles 8 and/or 13, and that the Consul refused to ask its legal adviser to answer questions about Jordanian law in order to help her prepare her case for court in Jordan, so violating article 6.
Held: The complaint failed on the facts: ‘the consular authorities had done all that could be reasonably expected of them’.
The Commission stated as to jurisdiction:
‘authorized agents of a state, including diplomatic or consular agents bring other persons or property within the jurisdiction of that state to the extent that they exercise authority over such persons or property. Insofar as they affect such persons or property by their acts or omissions, the responsibility of the state is engaged . . Therefore, in the present case the Commission is satisfied that even though the alleged failure of the consular authorities to do all in their power to help the applicant occurred outside the territory of the United Kingdom, it was still ‘within the jurisdiction’, within the meaning of article 1 of the Convention.’
The applicant’s husband had removed her daughter to Jordan. The English Courts granted her custody and a committal order against the father requiring him to ensure that the daughter would be returned to the UK within three weeks. Her claim in Jordan was dismissed in absentia. When the father went back to Jordan, she sought assistance from the British Consulate in Amman to obtain the necessary local custody order. She complained at the lack of assistance.
Held: The claim was inadmissible. The consular office had taken what steps were reasonably open to them to assist. However ‘authorised agents of a state, including diplomatic or consular agents bring other persons or property within the jurisdiction of that State to the extent that they exercise authority over such persons of property. Insofar as they affect such persons or property by their acts or omissions, the responsibility of eth State is engaged.’
(1977) 12 DR 73, 7547/76
Cited – Sandiford, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Admn 4-Feb-2013
The claimant was facing trial in Bali which would eventually lead to a sentence of death. She complained of inadequate legal assistance before and at the trial. She had been represented by a local lawyer, paid with funds (andpound;5,000) raised by . .
Cited – Sandiford, 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 . .
Cited – Sandiford, 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.231042