Justice for Sandra: Court of Appeal Judgment


Sandra Jean Allenoriginally published: 30th June 2009

On Thursday last week, the Court of Appeal handed down their judgment in respect of our Appeal against the High Court’s decision to refuse Permission for a Judicial Review of the Coroner’s inquest after my mother’s death.

Although the judgment will be an important one, their Lordships, headed by Lord Justice Dyson, refused the Appeal based on a very narrow interpretation of the law and facts.

The judgment can be found online here: BAILII.Importantly, they rejected the High Court’s judgment that the duty to investigate a potential breach of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights was not engaged.

Indeed, they found that it was, and will now be engaged in all future cases of deaths in mental health detention.Yet, they decided that the scope of such an inquiry was not very broad, and decided to limit this to those things which were arguable causative of death.

They decided not to take into account the systemic failings which we alleged were occurring when my mother died, and instead chose to limit their judgment to finding that “nothing could have been done” to save my mother’s life.We think they have missed the point.

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