Rabone v Pennine Care NHS Trust

Forum and Dates

The case was heard by the UK Supreme Court on 7th to 9th November 2011

Outline of the Issues

Whether there is a preventive operational obligation under article 2 of the ECHR to informal psychiatric patients to safeguard their lives when at risk of suicide.

Also, whether parents of the deceased are victims for the purposes of bringing a claim under the Human Rights Act.

Outcome

On the 8th February 2012 the UKSC confirmed that the duty of the State did extend to these patients in that they are vulnerable, the state has assumed responsibility for them and they are under the State's control. In reality the difference between detained and informal patients in these circumstance is one of form rather than substance. The Court further acknowledged that parents are victims in their own rights and are entitled to vindication for their loss.

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Justice, together with INQUEST, Liberty and Mind intervened jointly in the case by way of written and oral submissions, represented pro bono by Paul Bowen and Alison Pickup of Doughty Street Chambers and Bindmans LLP.

Read RABONE Intervention

The judgment in Rabone v Pennine Care NHS Trust is available here

The Court's press release is available here

Our reaction to the case is set out in our press release.