The Round-up: 21/7 bombers in Strasbourg and other news

7 June 2015 by

Photo credit: Guardian

Photo credit: Guardian

This week’s Round-up is brought to you by Alex Wessely.

In the news

Three high profile cases concerning the UK government have been granted hearings in the European Court of Human Rights grand chamber, putting the relationship between the government and the ECHR “in the spotlight“.

  • Ibrahim and Others v. the United Kingdom concerns four men convicted of offences relating to the 21 July London terror plot. The men were initially interviewed by police before they were allowed to consult a lawyer (on the grounds that the urgent situation meant no delay was permissible), which they claim is a breach of their Article 6 rights (right to a fair trial).
  • The second case, Hutchinson v UK, concerns the politically charged issue of whole life tariffs – prisoners who have been told they will never be released from jail. Ian Hutchinson, sentenced in 1983 for triple murder and rape, argues that this constitutes a violation of his Article 3 rights (protection against torture and inhumane and degrading treatment). This argument was rejected in February, but is now being re-heard.
  • The third case is brought by the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was killed by police in 2005 when they mistakenly thought he was planning a suicide attack at Stockwell station. This is covered by Inquest, the Guardian and Evening Standard.

These three highly significant cases will “test David Cameron’s mettle”, according to Joshua Rozenberg, as defeat in any will “strengthen the arguments of those who say that leaving the convention is the only way to achieve the government’s declared objectives.” See, for example, how the Daily Mail refer to the ECHR’s decision to re-open Hutchinson in particular as “a blow” to Michael Gove and causing “fury”.

Legal Highs:   The proposed Psychoactive Substances Bill – a blanket ban on ‘legal highs’ – has been subjected to ridicule online. Its “farcically bad drafting” means that, according to Ian Dunt, it currently covers air fresheners, incense, flowers and eye drops – among others. The Spectator calls the bill “a waste of time”, Buzzfeed interviewed a range of professionals who criticized it, and Quackometer questions the logic of giving homeopathic remedies an exemption.  Chris Snowden makes a serious point regarding a blanket ban on hitherto unknown substances – “We are moving ever further from common law towards the tyranny of Roman law in which everything is banned unless it is specifically permitted.”

Other news

  • The first consumer fraud lawsuit against conversion therapy (designed to “cure” homosexuals in America) has started. The opening arguments are discussed in Pink News, the Guardian and Huffington Post. The alleged “treatments” included advising the men to spend more time naked with their dads and beat a pillow (representing their mothers) with a tennis racket.
  • Vindication for Edward Snowden; the US Senate has voted to curb state spying by replacing the Patriot Act with the Freedom Act. Some (including Snowden) think the reform isn’t strong enough; the New Yorker argues it is now time to allow him to return home.
  • Human Rights Watch: A leading Uzbek human rights campaigner has been subjected to a “brutal police assault”, including sedation, cavity searches and other abuse.
  • The Dali Lama has “called out” Aun San Suu Kyi for not speaking out about the plight of the Rohinya minorities (see here, here or here) in her home country, Myanmar.
  • Convicted criminals can be forced to pay back legal aid, a government statement has confirmed. Solicitors journal comments here.
  • Is the Daily Mail hypocritical in its stance on the Human Rights Act? Brian Cathcart, Pressgate.
  • Owen Jones has published a video defending the Human Right Act and ECHR; Dan Hannan MP, however, has written arguing the opposite.

In the courts

The European Court of Human Rights has told French doctors that they can switch off the life support of Vincent Lambert, a tetraplegic who has been in a coma for seven years. His parents, the applicants, argued that allowing Lambert to die would be in violation of Article 2 (right to life) and withdrawing feeding would breach Article 3 (torture and inhuman and degrading treatment). The ECHR, however, agreed with the patient’s wife and doctors, and in allowing treatment to be stopped this case may form a precedent for other situations where families and doctors are in dispute. The decision is covered by, BBCGuardian and Huffington Post.

An Icelandic journalist, found liable for defamation in 2007, has successfully argued that this violated her Article 10 rights (freedom of expression). She published a story about a suspected cocaine smuggler, who was later found to be innocent and successfully sued her for the article. The ECHR found that the article was written in good faith and this “should be assessed on the basis of the knowledge and information which was available to him or her at the time of writing the item in question”.


If you would like your event to be mentioned on the Blog, please email Jim Duffy at


  1. Barbara S says:

    PS – I wrote the above while listening to a radio programme about a young person leaving care without being supported properly – ended up hanging himself while being bullied in YOI. Inquest completed 4 years later.

  2. Barbara S says:

    – thanks for your blog. I can understand how these cases are of imprtant substance for lawyers. However, I feel, by adding the picture you are at risk to feed the sensationalist opposition to Human Rights for criminals. For the debate to be had, it might be of more interest to talk about some of the human rights issues in the UK you guys don’t touch because the people concerned don’t have the money to pay what you charge…?

    1. Jake Maverick says:

      hardly in their interests to do that ;-) and all my comments seem to be blocked here also simply because this is establishment/ skewed/ propaganda type site

  3. Jake Maverick says:

    guess the one they’re most concerned about is the Jean Charles one….obviously they don’t want than can re-opening, considering what most likely happened….

    now WHERE did he work?

Comments are closed.

Welcome to the UKHRB

This blog is run by 1 Crown Office Row barristers' chambers. Subscribe for free updates here. The blog's editorial team is:
Commissioning Editor: Jonathan Metzer
Editorial Team: Rosalind English
Angus McCullough QC David Hart QC
Martin Downs
Jim Duffy

Free email updates

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog for free and receive weekly notifications of new posts by email.




Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption AI air pollution air travel ALBA Allergy Al Qaeda Amnesty International animal rights Animals anonymity Article 1 Protocol 1 Article 2 article 3 Article 4 article 5 Article 6 Article 8 Article 9 article 10 Article 11 article 13 Article 14 article 263 TFEU Artificial Intelligence Asbestos Assange assisted suicide asylum asylum seekers Australia autism badgers benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery British Waterways Board Catholic Church Catholicism Chagos Islanders Charter of Fundamental Rights child protection Children children's rights China christianity citizenship civil liberties campaigners civil partnerships climate change clinical negligence closed material procedure Coercion Commission on a Bill of Rights common law communications competition confidentiality consent conservation constitution contact order contact tracing contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus coronavirus act 2020 costs costs budgets Court of Protection covid crime criminal law Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation DEFRA deportation deprivation of liberty derogations Detention Dignitas diplomacy disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Environment Equality Act Equality Act 2010 Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Convention on Human Rights European Court of Human Rights European Court of Justice evidence extradition extraordinary rendition Facebook Facial Recognition Family Fatal Accidents Fertility FGM Finance foreign criminals foreign office foreign policy France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage gay rights Gaza Gender genetics Germany Google Grenfell Gun Control Health HIV home office Housing HRLA human rights Human Rights Act human rights news Human Rights Watch Huntington's Disease immigration India Indonesia injunction Inquests insurance international law internet inuit Iran Iraq Ireland islam Israel Italy IVF ivory ban Japan joint enterprise judaism judicial review Judicial Review reform Julian Assange jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Bill Law Pod UK legal aid legal aid cuts Leveson Inquiry lgbtq liability Libel Liberty Libya lisbon treaty Lithuania local authorities marriage Media and Censorship mental capacity Mental Capacity Act Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery morocco murder music Muslim nationality national security naturism neuroscience NHS Northern Ireland nuclear challenges nuisance Obituary parental rights parliamentary expenses scandal patents Pensions Personal Injury physician assisted death Piracy Plagiarism planning planning system Poland Police Politics Pope press prison Prisoners prisoner votes Prisons privacy Professional Discipline Property proportionality prosecutions Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest Public/Private public access public authorities public inquiries quarantine Radicalisation rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo right to die right to family life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania round-up Round Up Royals Russia saudi arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice Secret trials sexual offence shamima begum Sikhism Smoking social media social workers South Africa Spain special advocates Sports Standing starvation statelessness stem cells stop and search Strasbourg super injunctions Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance sweatshops Syria Tax technology Terrorism tort Torture travel treason treaty accession trial by jury TTIP Turkey Twitter UK Ukraine universal credit universal jurisdiction unlawful detention USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wildlife wind farms WomenInLaw Worboys wrongful birth YearInReview Zimbabwe


This blog is maintained for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice and must not be relied upon as such. Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their individual authors, not of chambers as a whole.

Our privacy policy can be found on our ‘subscribe’ page or by clicking here.

%d bloggers like this: