Alison Pickup and Maria Roche In Landmark Iraqi Civilians Victory

Alison Pickup and Maria Roche, instructed by Sapna Malik and Shubhaa Srinivasan of Leigh Day, successfully represented Iraqi civilians in claims against the Ministry of Defence for human rights abuses relating to their inhuman and degrading treatment and arbitrary detention during the conflict in Iraq from March 2003 onwards.


In this landmark judgment, raising novel and complex issues of English and Iraqi law, the Court awarded damages under the Human Rights Act 1998 to four lead Claimants, who came from Iraq to give evidence in trials lasting over seven weeks.  The Court found that none of these Claimants had been engaged in terrorist activities or posed any threat to the security of Iraq.


Mr Justice Leggatt held that the prohibition on inhuman and degrading treatment under Article 3 ECHR had been breached through the deliberate assault and/or hooding of each Claimant and that the right to liberty protected by Article 5 ECHR had been breached by their unlawful detention.  


The limitation period was extended under s.7(5) of the Human Rights Act 1998 to reflect the significant obstacles that the Claimants faced in bringing their claim. Damages awarded range from £10,600 to £33,300.


Alison Pickup and Maria Roche were part of the Counsel team representing Mr Alseran, Mr Al-Waheed, MRE and KSU. 


The judgment can be found here.