The recent case of Vining & Ors v London Borough of Wandsworth  EWCA Civ 1092 represents an attempt to circumvent restrictions on certain types of officers from enjoying employment law rights – in a claim of unfair dismissal and for a protective award in respect of an alleged failure in collective consultation relating to their redundancies.
Wandsworth reorganised their parks police force and dismissed Mr Vining (V) and Mr Francis (F) from that force on the ground of redundancy. As a result, V and F brought proceedings for unfair dismissal for W’s failure to consult them during the redundancy process.
This is the second of two posts on the case from the European Court of Human Rights, Shalyavski v Bulgaria (App no. 67608/11) 15.6.17, concerning breaches of Articles 3 and 8. This second one concerns a finding that the police’s visiting of a person’s home whist they were under house arrest, sometimes up to five times a day, was not a breach of Articles 3 or 8.
Lavender J in MLIA & CLEL v Chief Constable of Hampshire  EWHC 292 (QB) has offered helpful guidance on the application of the limitation defence for human rights claims, in a case which failed to meet the threshold for engaging the investigative duty under Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention.
The Claimants were a mother and daughter who had been victims of abusive, aggressive, violent and threatening behaviour perpetrated by the First Claimant’s former partner prior to November 2005. Following an order by Master McCloud that there should be a trial of liability, the issues before Lavender J were:
1. Whether the claim had been commenced within “such… period as the court… considers equitable having regard to all the circumstances” pursuant to section 7(5)(b) of the Human Rights Act 1998;
2. Whether Article 3 and/or Article 8 were engaged and, if so, whether the Defendant had acted in a manner which was incompatible with the duty imposed by those Articles, in particular by failing to investigate the Claimants’ allegations.
A person who was strip-searched in police custody and then moved whilst unclothed was not treated contrary to Article 3 or Article 8 where it was due to his own behaviour, the Court of Appeal has held in Yousif v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis  EWCA Civ 364.
The appellant was originally from Iraq where he had suffered at the hands of the authorities. He had a personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and paranoia. He had been arrested following an incident of ‘road rage’. He was taken to Paddington Green Police Station, where he remained for some 12 hours. When he was being booked into custody the appellant said ‘yes’ when asked whether he had tried to commit suicide in the past but then refused to give details or respond when asked whether he was feeling suicidal. The custody officer decided that the appellant should be stripped searched and that all of his clothes should be taken from him so that he was left naked in a cell that was constantly monitored by CCTV. During his detention he was moved from one cell to another whilst naked.
Public hearings in police misconduct hearings are new. As a result, panel chairs are just working their way around what is required and when to exclude the public. The bar for excluding members of the public and not naming officers is very high – as made clear by Solicitors Regulation Authority v Spector  EWHC 37 (Admin). It concerns solicitors but the principles are transferable (with some key caveats, which I have not gone into here). The result is that there will be a strong presumption that police misconduct hearings be heard in public, including permitting all members of the public and the naming of all persons involved. A panel chair does have a power to restrict the public elements of a hearing but only in exceptional circumstances.