HUMAN RIGHTS: R (Plymouth City Council) v HM Coroner for the County of Devon and Secretary of State for Education and Skills [2005] EWHC 1014 (Admin)

27 MAY 2005

(Queens Bench Division: Administrative Court; Wilson J; 27 May 2005) [2005] 2 FLR 1279

The court held that the coroner had correctly considered whether the circumstances surrounding the child's death were such as to give rise to an arguable breach of the State's positive duty to take proportionate measures under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950, Art 2 to protect life and so trigger the duty to investigate the breach. The test for deciding whether such positive duty had been violated was whether the authorities knew or ought to have known at the time of the existence of a real and immediate threat to the life of an identified individual from the criminal acts of a third party and failed to take measures within the scope of their powers which might reasonably have been expected to avoid that risk. See September [2005] Fam Law 699 for the case report and comment.

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