Richard III Reburial, Disappointment for Chagossians, Prisoner Book Ban – the Human Rights Roundup

2 June 2014 by

Richard IIIWelcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular towering edifice of human rights news and views. The full list of links can be found here. You can find previous roundups here. Links compiled by Adam Wagner, post by Celia Rooney

In recent human rights news, the judicial review of a decision to re-bury Richard III in Leicester fails to find its feet before the High Court. Meanwhile, the Chagos Islanders face further disappointment in their struggle to challenge their eviction from their homeland.

In the News 

Richard III Reburial 

The Plantagenet Alliance, who represent the descendants of Richard III, have lost their judicial review which challenged the decision of the Secretary of State to bury the late king in Leicester Cathedral. The monarch’s remains were exhumed from a car park in Leicester around 500 years after his death. The group of descendants, who had hoped that Richard would be buried in York, had attempted to challenge the decision on the basis that they were not consulted before the decision was taken. David Hart QC has summarised the decision of the High court, as well as the wider context of this sage, here and suggests that the case is important reading for any public interest lawyer.

The Plight of the Chagos Islanders

The judicial review of the former natives of the Chagos Islanders was also recently dismissed. The islanders, who were forcibly removed from their homes and refused permission to return, so that the land could be used as a US military base, sought to overturn a decision of the Divisional Court that had found in favour of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

The decision of the Divisional Court, and the unsuccessful appeal to the Court of Appeal, has been summarised by Rosalind English here. David Hart QC has highlighted where the decisions of the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal diverged, in particular the different approach that each took on the admissibility of a note that had come into the public domain via wikileaks. He notes, however, that the less restrictive approach of the Court of Appeal in this regard is nonetheless of little help to the Chagossians. 

In Other News

  • 4 prisoners are to once again challenging the legality of indeterminate sentences, this time before the Supreme Court on the basis that evidence suggests that the average length of life and indeterminate sentences is increasing. The Guardian reports here.
  • The Home Office is seeking to remove a 6 year old girl with Spina Bifida. Colin Yeo, for the Free Movement blog, considers the issue here.
  • Francesca Norris, for the Keep Calm, Talk Law blog, has considered how the ban on books in prison might fare if it was challenged by way of judicial review.

In the Courts


Court of Appeal: Court recommendation for deportation does not preclude claiming damages for False Imprisonment under Hardail Singh principles, but does preclude in policy breach cases even where breach bears on decision to detain


Lack of night-time care funding breached disabled woman’s Article 8 rights

Extended detention and severe sentencing for participation in non-violent, anti-government protest in Russia violated Article 5(3) and Article 10, in light of Article 11 of the Convention

Violation of Article 1 of Protocol 1, where UK failed to balance right to property with public interest in case concerning the confiscation of wages

Case Summaries 

Writing for 11KBW’s Panopticon blog, Akhlaq Choudhary has summarised the likely impact of the CJEU’s recent ‘right to forget’ case here. He has stated that the case is likely to have a huge implications, not just for search engines like Google, but for on all web-based personal data search services.

Christopher Knight, again writing for the Panopticon blog here, has considered the implications of the judgment of Green J in this case, in terms of the light it may shed on the somewhat surprising decision of the Supreme Court in Kennedy v Charity Commissioner  [2014] UKSC 20.

Ronan O Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof have examined the implications of this case, which found that a court-imposed injunction banning the distribution of leaflets against a political candidate was a violation of Article 10, on the Strasbourg Observers blog here. Hailing the decision as a victory for freedom of expression, they note that it is nonetheless surprising that the Strasbourg court did not consider any jurisprudence on the right to reputation.


To add to this list, email Adam Wagner.  Please only send events which i) have their own webpage which can be linked to, and ii) are relevant to the topics covered by this blog.

UK Human Rights Blog Posts


  1. mikepitts says:

    No he wasn’t, he was king of England!

  2. Nice digest, I’m trying to follow the Richard III story as much as possible. It fascinates me and I do really think he should be buried in York, he was a York King after all.

  3. forcedadoption says:

    I cannot see how it can ever be right for a foreign power to evict natives from their homeland .Even the red indians were not expelled from the American continent and were given reservations instead.The link to the court decisions is not working………..

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