The Round-up: child restraint and disenfranchisement

8 May 2016 by

Charlotte Bellamy brings you the latest human rights news

G4S

Children in privately-run youth detention centres are being seriously injured whilst being restrained by staff, according to a redacted Ministry of Justice report released to the Director of the children’s rights charity Article 39. The report focuses on four secure training centres (STCs) and two young offender institutions (YOIs) – the worst three of which are all run by G4S.

The report lists ‘restraints-gone-wrong’, where children were injured or suffered breathing difficulties in the process. Rainsbrook SCT – where teenager Gareth Myatt died in 2004 after choking on his own vomit while being restrained – had the highest number of incidents of serious injury. One child vomited from a prolonged restraint whilst being held in a seated position similar to the one used on Myatt. Government guidelines classify vomiting during restraint as a medical emergency.

Carolyne Willow, Director of Article 39, has been engaged in legal proceedings against the MoJ for access to an unredacted version of the manual ‘Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint’, published in 2012, which details the restraint techniques used in STCs and YOIs. However, the Upper Tribunal recently dismissed her appeal in Willow v Information Commissioner & Ministry of Justice [2016], holding that disclosure of the information would threaten the good order and security of prisons, as inmates might develop countermeasures to the techniques. Willow had argued – unsuccessfully – that Article 3(1) of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child required a greater emphasis to be placed on the child’s interests when balancing them against the public interest (see the Panopticon Blog for further analysis).

It came to light last week that Medway SCT – the subject of a BBC Panorama exposé aired in January this year which showed G4S staff appearing to use excessive force on children – is to be taken over by the Ministry of Justice. Four members of staff had been arrested on charges of child neglect in relation to the allegations, following which G4S announced in February it was selling off the contracts to run Medway, Oakhill SCT, and 13 local authority children’s homes.

Andrew Neilson of the Howard League for Penal Reform had called at the time for SCTs to be shut down completely, calling them a “failed model”. The Ministry of Justice is due to announce the findings of the Independent Improvement Board set up by Michael Gove in response to the Medway allegations, which will detail the future of the centre.

A wider review is currently being conducted into youth justice by Charlie Taylor, former head teacher and child behavioural expert, the final report of which is expected in July. The interim findings (available here) recommend an overhaul of the youth custodial estate, replacing youth prisons with smaller secure schools focusing on education.

Other news

  • In addition to the polling day problems in Barnet, it seems that thousands of women living in safe houses and refuges after fleeing domestic violence may have been disenfranchised. Mehala Osborne, a mother-of-one living in a refuge in Bristol, found it impossible to register anonymously as she could not adduce the required evidence to prove her safety would be at risk if her name and address appeared on the register. She estimates that 70% of women in refuges in Bristol and possibly across the country could be in the same situation. The evidence required for Anonymous Voter Registration is a court order or the attestation of an “authorised person” – a Police Superintendent, a Director of Adult Social Services, or the Director General of the Security Services or National Crime Agency. For many in Osborne’s situation, who have fled their homes quickly, there is no time to source such authorisation. The right to vote is protected by Article 3 Protocol 1 ECHR which states that the UK will “hold free elections … under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature”. Osborne suggests that refuge and safe house management staff ought to be included in the definition of an “authorised person”.
  • Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi last week told a US delegation that human rights in Egypt should not be viewed from a “Western perspective”. Though reportedly keen to emphasise his commitment to democracy, he explained that “differences in domestic and regional conditions” make it difficult to apply the same standards. 237 human rights protestors were arrested last week during a peaceful demonstration in Cairo against the el-Sisi regime, including two journalists – Mahmoud al-Sakka and Amr Badr, who work for the opposition website Bawabet Yanayer – for “spreading false news and endangering national security”. Amnesty International have described el-Sisi’s remarks as “deeply troubling”, saying that “he should stop making excuses … There’s nothing remotely ‘Western’ about basic human rights like the right not to suffer torture or to be able to speak freely without fear of arrest or imprisonment”.
  • Arthur Scargill, the former miners’ union president, has called for an inquiry into the conduct of the South Yorkshire Police at the 1984 ‘Battle of Orgreave’. Thousands of minors clashed with the South Yorkshire police at the coking plant near Rotherham during the year long minors’ strike of 1984-5. A redacted version of the Independent Police Complaints Commission report into Orgreave was released last year, but the Yorkshire Post has now reported that the redacted sections proved the same senior police officers were involved in the aftermath of Orgreave as Hillsborough. Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham recently said that the full truth of policing at Hillsborough would not be known until there is transparency over Orgreave.
  • An Italian court has ruled that the theft of a piece of cheese and a wurstel sausage by a homeless man was not a crime because he acted in “desperate and immediate need of nourishment”. Roman Ostriakov had been sentenced by a lower court in Genoa to six months in jail and €100 fine after being arrested for slipping the sausage and cheese into his pocket when buying breadsticks in the supermarket. The Court of Cassation finally found in his favour, after a three-part trial to determine whether the theft of the food (worth about £3.70) amounted to a crime or not, prompting some commentators to lambaste the country’s notoriously inefficient legal system. Others, however, have lauded the judgment as establishing a “sacrosanct principle” that a small theft out of hunger is not comparable to an act of delinquency, and as an act of humanity which showed that in Italy the right to survive trumps property rights – something which would be “blasphemy in America”.

 

In the Courts

  • Cerf v Turkey  – The Court found a violation of the duty to conduct an effective investigation under the procedural aspect of Article 2 (right to life) into the suspicious death of the applicant’s husband. The applicant’s husband, Serf Cerf, a local politician, was shot outside a café in the town of Yüreğir in 1994 and died on the spot. In 2000, the authorities arrested a man (in the course of operations carried out against Hizbullah, an outlawed organisation in Turkey) who confessed to killing Mr Cerf. Despite criminal proceedings being initiated against him and four others in 2000, they were not concluded until 2009 and 2013. The Court considered the delays to be excessive and incompatible with the State’s obligation under Article 2, which requires proceedings to be initiated promptly and to proceed with reasonable expedition. The delays entailed the conclusion that the investigation had been ineffective.
  • Abdi Mahamud v Malta  – violations of Article 3 and 5. This case concerned a female Somalian asylum seeker detained for more than 16 months in overcrowded conditions, with little privacy and limited access to outdoor exercise. All the care of detained women was carried out by male staff. Ms Mahamud had been detained in May 2012. A decision on her asylum application was not made until December 2012 (when it was rejected). In the meantime she had been frequently hospitalised due several medical conditions. She was interviewed for release on the grounds of ill-health in December 2012, but was not actually released until September 2013. The cumulative effect of the detention conditions was found by the Court to be a violation of Article 3 (degrading treatment); a violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security) § 1 was found in respect of the length of both periods of detention (seven months pending the asylum decision and the rest pending her removal). The lack of available measure to challenge the lawfulness of her detention was a violation of Article 5 § 4.

 

Previous UKHRB posts

1 comment;


  1. Andrew says:

    Funny you should mention Art 3 Protocol 1 and Orgreave in the same post.

    In 1983 the Conservatives were re-elected with the highest share of the poll since 1906 and (the turnout being high) more votes than any party before or (so far) since. Mr Scargill said that “he did not accept that that meant that the working classes had to accept five more years of Tory government” and we know what he meant. He was trying to use his union (which ultimately, like any trade-union, is a self-interested private pressure group) to reverse the decision of the electorate.

    And for that purpose he was determined to use industrial muscle to suppress that most basic of all human rights: the right to in peace and unmolested about your lawful private occasions, even if they may be unpopular with others. The trade-union movement has always had an uneasy relationship with individual rights and decision by secret ballot; it took Mrs Thatcher to make them adopt the latter.

    So, back to Orgreave in 1984 and Saltley in 1972. Who was attacking human rights and who was defending them?

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.

Subscribe

Categories


Tags


7/7 Bombings 9/11 A1P1 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 birds directive 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 circumcision citizenship civil liberties campaigners civil partnerships climate change clinical negligence closed material procedure Coercion Cologne Commission on a Bill of Rights common buzzard common law communications competition confidentiality confiscation order conscientious objection consent conservation constitution contact order contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus costs costs budgets Court of Protection crime criminal law Criminal Legal Aid criminal records Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty declaration of incompatibility defamation DEFRA Democracy village deportation deprivation of liberty derogations Detention devolution Dignitas dignity Dignity in Dying diplomacy director of public prosecutions disability Disability-related harassment disciplinary hearing disclosure Discrimination Discrimination law disease divorce DNA doctors does it matter? domestic violence Dominic Grieve don't ask don't ask don't tell don't tell Doogan and Wood double conviction DPP guidelines drones duty of care ECHR economic and social rights economic loss ECtHR Education election Employment Environment environmental information Equality Act Equality Act 2010 ethics 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 european disability forum European Sanctions Blog Eurozone euthanasia evidence Exclusion extra-jurisdictional reach of ECHR extra-territoriality extradition extradition act extradition procedures extradition review extraordinary rendition Facebook Facebook contempt facial recognition fair procedures Fair Trial faith courts fake news Family family courts family law family legal aid Family life fatal accidents act Fertility fertility treatment FGM fisheries fishing rights foreign criminals foreign office foreign policy France freedom of assembly Freedom of Association Freedom of Expression freedom of information Freedom of Information Act 2000 freedom of movement freedom of speech free speech game birds gangbo gang injunctions Garry Mann gary dobson Gary McFarlane gay discrimination Gay marriage gay rights gay soldiers Gaza Gaza conflict Gender General Dental Council General Election General Medical Council genetic discrimination genetic engineering genetic information genetics genetic testing Google government Grenfell grooming Gun Control gwyneth paltrow gypsies habitats habitats protection Halsbury's Law Exchange hammerton v uk happy new year harassment Hardeep Singh Haringey Council Harkins and Edwards Health healthcare health insurance Heathrow heist heightened scrutiny Henry VII Henry VIII herd immunity hereditary disorder High Court of Justiciary Hirst v UK HIV HJ Iran HM (Iraq) v The Secretary of state for the home department [2010] EWCA Civ 1322 Holder holkham beach holocaust homelessness Home Office Home Office v Tariq homeopathy hooding Hounslow v Powell House of Commons Housing housing benefits Howard League for Penal Reform how judges decide cases hra damages claim Hrant Dink HRLA HS2 hs2 challenge hts http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2011/04/11/us-state-department-reports-on-uk-human-rights/ Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority human genome human rights Human Rights Act Human Rights Act 1998 human rights advocacy Human rights and the UK constitution human rights commission human rights conventions human rights damages Human Rights Day human rights decisions Human Rights Information Project human rights news Human Rights Watch human right to education human trafficking hunting Huntington's Disease HXA hyper injunctions Igor Sutyagin illegality defence immigration Immigration/Extradition Immigration Act 2014 immigration appeals immigration detention immigration judge immigration rules immunity increase of sanction India Indonesia Infrastructure Planning Committee inherent jurisdiction inherited disease Inhuman and degrading treatment injunction Inquest Inquests insult insurance insurmountable obstacles intelligence services act intercept evidence interception interests of the child interim remedies international international conflict international criminal court international humanitarian law international human rights international human rights law international law international treaty obligations internet internet service providers internment internship inuit investigation investigative duty in vitro fertilisation Iran iranian bank sanctions Iranian nuclear program Iraq Iraqi asylum seeker Iraq War Ireland irrationality islam Israel Italy iTunes IVF ivory ban jackson reforms Janowiec and Others v Russia ( Japan Jason Smith Jeet Singh Jefferies Jeremy Corbyn jeremy hunt job Jogee John Hemming John Terry joint enterprise joint tenancy Jon Guant Joseph v Spiller journalism judaism judges Judges and Juries judging Judicial activism judicial brevity judicial deference judicial review Judicial Review reform judiciary Julian Assange jurisdiction jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Act Justice and Security Bill Justice and Security Green Paper Justice Human Rights Awards JUSTICE Human Rights Awards 2010 just satisfaction Katyn Massacre Kay v Lambeth Kay v UK Ken Clarke Ken Pease Kerry McCarthy Kettling Kings College Klimas koran burning Labour Lady Hale lansley NHS reforms LASPO Law Commission Law Pod UK Law Society Law Society of Scotland leave to enter leave to remain legal aid legal aid cuts Legal Aid desert Legal Aid Reforms legal blogs Legal Certainty legal naughty step Legal Ombudsman legal representation legitimate expectation let as a dwelling Leveson Inquiry Levi Bellfield lewisham hospital closure lgbtq liability Libel libel reform Liberal Democrat Conference Liberty libraries closure library closures Libya licence conditions licence to shoot life insurance life sentence life support limestone pavements limitation lisbon treaty Lithuania Litigation litvinenko live exports local authorities locked in syndrome london borough of merton London Legal Walk London Probation Trust Lord Bingham Lord Bingham of Cornhill Lord Blair Lord Goldsmith lord irvine Lord Judge speech Lord Kerr Lord Lester Lord Neuberger Lord Phillips Lord Rodger Lord Sumption Lord Taylor LSC tender luftur rahman machine learning MAGA Magna Carta mail on sunday Majority Verdict Malcolm Kennedy malice Margaret Thatcher Margin of Appreciation margin of discretion Maria Gallastegui marriage material support maternity pay Matthew Woods Mattu v The University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust [2011] EWHC 2068 (QB) Maya the Cat Mba v London Borough Of Merton McKenzie friend Media and Censorship Medical medical liability medical negligence medical qualifications medical records medicine mental capacity Mental Capacity Act Mental Capacity Act 2005 Mental Health mental health act mental health advocacy mental health awareness Mental Health Courts Mental illness merits review MGN v UK michael gove Midwives migrant crisis Milly Dowler Ministerial Code Ministry of Justice Ministry of Justice cuts misfeasance in public office modern slavery morality morocco mortuaries motherhood Motor Neurone disease Moulton Mousa MP expenses Mr Gul Mr Justice Eady MS (Palestinian Territories) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department murder murder reform Musician's Union Muslim NADA v. SWITZERLAND - 10593/08 - HEJUD [2012] ECHR 1691 naked rambler Naomi Campbell nationality National Pro Bono Week national security Natural England nature conservation naturism Nazi negligence Neuberger neuroscience Newcastle university news News of the World new Supreme Court President NHS NHS Risk Register Nick Clegg Nicklinson Niqaab Noise Regulations 2005 Northern Ireland nuclear challenges nuisance nursing nursing home Obituary Occupy London offensive jokes Offensive Speech offensive t shirt oil spill olympics open justice oppress OPQ v BJM orchestra Osama Bin Laden Oxford University paramountcy principle parental rights parenthood parking spaces parliamentary expenses parliamentary expenses scandal Parliamentary sovereignty Parliament square parole board passive smoking pastor Terry Jones patents Pathway Students Patrick Quinn murder Pensions persecution personal data Personal Injury personality rights perversity Peter and Hazelmary Bull PF and EF v UK Phil Woolas phone hacking phone taps physical and mental disabilities physician assisted death Pinnock Piracy Plagiarism planning planning human rights planning system plebgate POCA podcast points Poland Police police investigations police liability police misconduct police powers police surveillance Policy Exchange report political judges Politics Politics/Public Order poor reporting Pope Pope's visit Pope Benedict portal possession proceedings power of attorney PoW letters to ministers pre-nup pre-nuptial Pre-trial detention predator control pregnancy press press briefing press freedom Prince Charles prince of wales princess caroline of monaco principle of subsidiarity prior restraint prison Prisoners prisoners rights prisoners voting prisoner vote prisoner votes prisoner voting prison numbers Prisons prison vote privacy privacy injunction privacy law through the front door Private life private nuisance private use proceeds of crime Professional Discipline Property proportionality prosecution Protection of Freedoms Act Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest protest camp protest rights Protocol 15 psychiatric hospitals Public/Private public access publication public authorities Public Bodies Bill public inquiries public interest public interest environmental litigation public interest immunity Public Order Public Sector Equality Duty putting the past behind quango quantum quarantine Queen's Speech queer in the 21st century R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Ors [2011] EWCA Civ 895 R (on the application of) v The General Medical Council [2013] EWHC 2839 (Admin) R (on the application of EH) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWHC 2569 (Admin) R (on the application of G) v The Governors of X School Rabone and another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust [2012] UKSC 2 race relations Rachel Corrie Radmacher Raed Salah Mahajna Raed Saleh Ramsgate raptors rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion resuscitation RightsInfo right to die right to family life right to life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania Round Up Royals Russia saudi arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice Secret trials security services sexual offence Sikhism Smoking social media social workers South Africa south african constitution Spain special advocates spending cuts Standing starvation statelessness stem cells stop and search Strasbourg super injunctions Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance swine flu Syria Tax Taxi technology Terrorism terrorism act tort Torture travel treason treaty accession trial by jury TTIP Turkey Twitter UK Ukraine unfair consultation universal jurisdiction unlawful detention USA US Supreme Court vaccination vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wildlife wind farms WomenInLaw Worboys wrongful birth YearInReview Zimbabwe

Disclaimer


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: