In the case of RK and AK v the United Kingdom (38000/05) the European Court of Human Rights has awarded compensation to a couple from Oldham after it found that the UK had infringed their Article 13 rights after a child had been taken into care.
The child had been taken into care after suffering a fracture which was thought to be non-accidental. Eventually, the child was diagnosed with brittle-bone disease but the parents complained that the child had been removed because of a medical misdiagnosis.
The ECHR found that the Article 8 rights to a private life had been interfered with but not infringed and that the processes to protect the child had been lawful. However, as the events occurred before implementation of the Human Rights Act on 2 October 2000, there was no suitable route to seek compensation and this infringed Article 13 which states that:
“Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in [the] Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.”
The court, therefore, awarded the applicants 28,000 EUROS in damages and costs.
The Implication of This Judgement Could be Far-Reaching.
With regards to the Use of Force if we are giving incorrect (or legally flawed) advice, guidance, training and instruction, and that affects someone’s human and civil rights – for example they are arrested, suspended, investigated, etc., – then that person has a right to challenge the advice, guidance, training and instruction, and they are also entitled to an enforceable right to compensation if it is found that the advice, guidance, training and instruction that they have been given infringed their rights.
This is why the police are now quoting Article 13 of the ECHR in their training.
And this is why we ensure that all of the legal input in all of our courses is legally accurate.