THE LEGAL BASIS OF THE DUTY TO INVESTIGATE (2)

THE LEGAL BASIS OF THE DUTY TO INVESTIGATE (2)

THE DUTIES TO INVESTIGATE WITHIN THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

This section of the talk considers the duties to investigate within the ECHR. It is aimed at the lawyers in the audience who already have some experience in this area, so I apologise to those of you who have no interest in this sort of detail. This is a huge topic, and we only have a short time, but if you need more information, I would highly recommend the article 2 chapter in the Sweet & Maxwell Human Rights Practice encyclopedia (by me) and the book Inquests – A Practitioner’s Guide (also partly by me).

The Human Rights Act 1998 has had a big impact upon the duties the state has to investigate when something goes seriously wrong. For example, before the HRA, if a manifestly unarmed man was shot seven times in the head while sitting in his seat in an underground train, or if an Asian man was beaten to death by his racist cell-mate, or even
if someone died due to failures by psychiatric nurses to protect him or her from suicide, the investigation into the death could not identify what went wrong. Now, the investigation must culminate in a conclusion that identifies what went wrong, so that lessons can be learned to prevent the same thing happening again in future.

Author: Adam Straw

Publication date: May 12 2016