THE LEGAL BASIS OF THE DUTY TO INVESTIGATE (1)

THE LEGAL BASIS OF THE DUTY TO INVESTIGATE (1)

DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL (NON-ECHR) LAW

The “duty” on the State to conduct an investigation into events of significant public concern or interest is not in fact a single duty, but incorporates some duties, and a wide range of powers, derived from common law, statutory and international law sources, which can often overlap in the same case. In this presentation we seek to provide an
overview of these various legal sources, and some observations about how the principles and processes inter-relate.

This paper focuses on domestic and international law duties and powers with respect to investigations; Adam Straw’s paper (here) addresses the investigative obligations generated by Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“the ECHR”), incorporated into domestic law (for now, at least!) via the Human Rights Act 1998 (“the
HRA”). These Convention rights have an important role to play in triggering the duties and powers in issue, and in shaping the scope and outcome of the investigations that follow; and so our papers should be considered together for a full understanding of the legal position.

Author: Henrietta Hill QC

Publication date: May 12 2016