LANDMARK POLICE IMMUNITY JUDGMENT FROM THE SUPREME COURT

A seven-judge panel of the Supreme Court has,today, given judgment in the case of Michael and others v Chief Constable of South Wales Police and another  Joanna Michael was killed by her former partner, even though she had telephoned 999 and told police officers that her former partner had told her that he would be back any moment to kill her.  The central issues in the appeal were: (a) whether the police should continue to be immune from common law challenge in negligence, and (b) the extent of the duties owed by the police under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

 

By a majority of 5-2, the Supreme Court dismissed the negligence claim.  All seven members of the Court dismissed the police’s cross-appeal on Article 2 and the case will now proceed to trial under the Human Rights Act. A full briefing note as to the judgment from Nicholas Bowen QC is attached here along with a statement from Joanna's mother.

 

Nicholas Bowen QC and Jude Bunting acted for the Appellants, along with Duncan Fairgrieve of 1 Crown Office Row.  They were instructed by Hywel Davies of Martyn Prowel solicitors.

 

Cymorth i Ferched Cymru (Welsh Women’s Aid) intervened in writing in support of Joanna Michael’s family.  They were represented pro bono by Doughty Street barrister Caoilfhionn Gallagher, instructed by Rebekah Carrier of Hopkin Murray Beskine Solicitors. Jane Elliott-Kelly provided additional pro bono support to Welsh Women’s Aid

 

For further background see:

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