Advancing human rights and equality
through public interest litigation

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August 2016

Police wrongly disclose information about a victim of domestic abuse

The Greater Manchester Police agreed to pay damages to a victim of domestic abuse whose private information had been wrongly disclosed by police officers.

The woman, AB had suffered domestic abuse by a former partner.  She agreed to allow the police to use the facts of her case for a training exercise, for the purpose of improving understanding among officers and to support agencies tasked with helping victims of domestic abuse.  AB understood that this information would be anonymised.

Private Information & Data Protection

Court of Appeal orders release of family court judgment in Ellie Butler murder case

C (A Child) [2016] EWCA Civ 798

The facts were that Ben Butler had been convicted for the murder of his six year-old daughter Ellie in June 2016.  In June 2014 King J had been required to make findings of fact about the case by Sutton Children’s Services who wanted to make a decision on the future of Ellie’s younger sibling.  Following his conviction, media organisations applied for the release of King J’s judgment in the family court. 

ECHR Art. 6, Right to Fair Trial

High Court rules that NHS England has a duty to commission and pay for preventative HIV treatment


Not a breach of Article 8 to prohibit defendants from using facebook

The High Court ruled that defendants could be prohibited from accessing their facebook accounts, despite this being a violation of their Article 8 rights, because the balance weighed in favour of preserving evidence. 

The plaintiff had sent a sexualised photograph of herself to one of the defendants, at a time when they were in a relationship.  After the relationship ended, the defendants published the photograph.  She asserted that this undermined her independence, her dignity, her right to privacy and was in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.

ECHR Art. 8, Private Information & Data Protection

Violation of Article 10 to order politician to publish apology for defaming newspaper

Kurski v Poland (Application No. 26115/10)

The European Court’s Fourth Section held that a civil action by a newspaper against a Polish politician, Jacek Kurski, for alleging that the newspaper had an agreement with an oil corporation to finance the newspaper’s mass propaganda against his political party, violated the politician’s freedom of expression.


Police officer disciplined for failure to progress investigation into assault of a child

A police officer was disciplined after a Police Ombudsman investigation found that he did ‘virtually nothing’ to progress an investigation into an assault on a schoolboy who had extensive injuries after being punched and kicked in 2014.

Other Public Interest Cases

Supreme Court rules that Article 8 need not be considered in possession proceedings by private landlord

McDonald v McDonald [2016] UKSC 28

A private sector tenant who had psychiatric and behavioural issues argued that the court was required to carry out an Article 8 assessment in repossession proceedings.  The tenant’s landlords were her parents who had purchased the property by obtaining a secured loan from a private company.  They fell into arrears of the monthly payments and the company sought to repossess the property.

ECHR Art. 8, Housing Law, Mental Health

Supreme Court rules that Named Persons Scheme in Scots Law could breach ECHR

Children's Rights, ECHR Art. 8

Supreme Court seeks guidance from CJEU regarding case of transgender woman refused state pension

Under the Gender Recognition Act 2004, by obtaining a gender recognition certificate, transgender people have the right to have their gender formally recognised in law.  MB was married in 1974, began to live as a woman in 1991 and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1995 but did not apply for a gender recognition certificate.  In order to be granted a certificate, MB would have had to annul her marriage.  She decided to remain married to her wife and mother of their two children.

Discrimination, LGBT, Pensions