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Osman v United Kingdom Case No 87/1997/871/1083 European Court of Human Rights

For facts and Court of Appeal decision see
here


Osman appealed to the European Court of Human Rights contending that the blanket immunity from actions provided to the police by the House of Lords in Hill v CC Yorkshire was in breach of Art 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Art 6 provides that in determination of civil rights every person is entitled to a hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

Held:

The Court found there had been a violation of Art 6 .The blanket immunity provided by Hill v. CC Yorkshire constituted a disproportionate restriction on the applicant's right of access to a court or tribunal. The substantive merits of the case could not be argued before a judge. It should always be open for claimants to put their case before a judge and a blanket rule which interfered with this right was not acceptable. The restrictive requirements of proximity were adequate to protect the police from the majority of claims.
 
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