Brogan v United Kingdom 11 EHRR 117 1988: Prevention of Terrorism Act: Detention: reasonable suspicion, promptness, habeas corpus, compensation

European Court of Human Rights: Prevention of Terrorism Act: Detention: reasonable suspicion, promptness, habeas corpus, compensation: The applicants were questioned within a few hours of their arrest about their suspected involvement in specific offences and their suspected involvement in specific offences and their suspected membership were consequently based on a reasonable suspicion of a commission of an offence within the meaning of Article 5(1)(c). The fact that the applicants were neither charged nor brought before a court did not necessarily mean that the purpose of their detention was not in accordance with the article. There was no reason to believe that the police investigation was not in good faith and that the detention was not intended to further that investigation by way of confirming or dispelling the concrete suspicions which formed the basis for their arrest. No violation can arise if the arrested person is released promptly if there is no intention to place the detention under judicial control. The assessment of ‘promptness’ has to be made in the light of the object and purpose of Art 5 which enshrines a fundamental right, namely the protection of the individual against arbitrary interferences by the State with his right to liberty. Judicial control of such interferences is an essential feature of this guarantee, which is intended to minimise the risk of arbitrariness. Under article 5(3) to justify detention of 4 days and 6 hours without appearance before the judge would be an unacceptably wide interpretation of the plain meaning of the word ‘promptly’. Such an interpretation would import into the provision a serious weakening of a procedural guarantee.

| Return to Topic Menu | Return to Main Menu |