Cases Reported

Forrest v (1) The Lord Chancellor and (2) The Lord Chief Justice 1
Issue: The extent of a coroner’s powers over his administrative staff in circumstances where they were employed by the local authority; whether the coroner’s behaviour in relation to the local authority was compatible with his remaining as a coroner
R v Aaron Lee Davies 8
Issue: Whether the conduct of an inquest had caused unfair prejudice to the defendant in a criminal trial for manslaughter such that his conviction was unsafe.
R (Mack) v HM Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull and others 17
Issue: Whether a new inquest into a hospital death should be held where the coroner had not called the relevant treating doctor and had not heard evidence as to whether shortcomings in care were a one-off lapse or a systemic problem.
Re McCaughey and Quinn’s application 22
Issue: Whether, where an inquest was to take place in respect of deaths occurring before commencement of the Human Rights Act 1998, there was a freestanding procedural aspect of Art 2 requiring the inquest to be Art 2 compliant
R (Evans) v HM Coroner for Cardiff 48
Issue: Whether Art 8 ECHR precluded a coroner returning a verdict of unlawful killing in circumstances where the person responsible would be, or would be capable of being, identified.
R (Palmer and Palmer) v HM Coroner for Worcestershire and (1) Worcestershire County Council (2) Chief Constable of West Mercia Police (interested parties) 50
Issue: Whether the Art 2 general duty to protect the life of the deceased was breached by the actions of state bodies and their responses to threats to the deceased’s life; whether there was a real and immediate threat to the life of the deceased that gave rise to any Art 2 operational duty towards him; whether the Art 2 investigatory duty was engaged so as to require an enhanced investigation, and hence an inquest, to be held.
McLuckie v The Coroner for Northern Ireland 65
Issue: Whether an order should have been made under s4(2) Contempt of Court Act 1981 postponing media reporting of the inquest proceedings until after the jury had returned its verdict in circumstances where a witness due to give evidence at the inquest was a prisoner serving a life sentence for an unrelated murder.
Al-Skeini and others v UK 73
Issue: Whether the deaths of six Iraqi citizens in Iraq occurred within the jurisdiction of the UK so as to fall within the scope of the ECHR; if so, whether there had been an adequate inquiry into those deaths for the purposes of Art 2.
R (Handley) v HM Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull 118
Issue: Whether s8(3)(d) Coroners Act 1988 conferred a discretion on a coroner whether to summon a jury; whether there was a real possibility of a recurrence of the circumstances within the meaning of the section
R (Cairns) v HM Deputy Coroner for Inner West London and (1) Lopes and (2) Tradex Insurance Company Ltd (interested parties) 121
Issue: Whether the coroner’s conduct of an inquest was Wednesbury unreasonable so that a new inquest was required; whether a jury should have been summoned under s8(3)(d) Coroners Act 1988
Howard’s Application 130
Issue: Whether a coroner’s decision to hold an inquest had been irrational where there was no body and where a suspect had been acquitted of murder in a criminal trial.
Mammadov v Azerbaijan 137
Issue: Whether state authorities’ failure to appreciate the risk of suicide or to prevent the death of the applicant’s wife violated the state’s positive obligation to protect her Art 2 right to life; whether the failure to conduct an effective investigation breached Art 2
Watts v UK (admissibility) 157
Issue: Whether the decision of a local authority to close the applicant’s care home posed a risk to her life and health and constituted a breach of Arts 2, 3 and 8 ECHR.
Tomašić and Others v Croatia 175
Issue: Whether the authorities’ failure to protect lives from acts of a man with a personality disorder breached the substantive obligations under Art 2 ECHR; whether the procedural obligation under Art 2 was breached by the failure to conduct an effective investigation into state responsibility.
Kats v Ukraine 189
Issue: Whether the failure to provide adequate medical care during detention or release a detainee on medical grounds violated Art 2 ECHR; whether the failure to conduct an effective and independent investigation into state responsibility for the deaths breached Art 2; whether the next-of-kin of an individual whose Art 5 right to liberty has been breached may apply as applicants in their own right.
Emms v Lord Advocate 203
Issue: Whether Art 2 ECHR required that a fatal accident inquiry should be held into a sudden death in hospital
Bennett v UK 218
Issue: Whether the inquest procedure failed to satisfy the state’s Art 2 obligations where a verdict of unlawful killing was not left to a jury and, in respect of lawful killing, the jury were directed to consider whether the force used was ‘reasonable’ as opposed to “absolutely necessary”.
R (Palmer) v HM Coroner for the County of Worcestershire and (1) Worcestershire County Council (2) Chief Constable of West Mercia Police (interested parties) 231
Issue: Whether permission should be given to substitute a party and to appeal against the finding that the Art 2 investigatory duty did not require an inquest to be held.
Pearson v UK 233
Issue: Whether the procedural obligation under Art 2 ECHR required a ‘Middleton’ style inquest into a death that had occurred before the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force
R (Halpin) v Attorney General 244
Issue: Whether the Attorney General was correct to decline to support an application for an inquest under s13 Coroners Act 1984 where an independent inquiry into the death had already been held in public.
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