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R (Morahan) v HM Assistant Coroner for West London

News & Judgments
31 October 2022

The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in this judicial review appeal, in which Jonathan Hough KC acted for the Respondent Coroner.  The case concerned whether the state’s procedural obligation under Article 2 of the ECHR (the right to life) was engaged in relation to the death of a voluntary psychiatric inpatient due to recreational drug use.  The judgment of the Court (Lord Burnett CJ, Nicola Davies and Baker LJJ) considers the circumstances in which the procedural obligation is engaged (including the concept of “automatic engagement”) and the extent of Article 2 substantive obligations owed by state bodies to protect psychiatric patients.  The Coroner’s decision was upheld.  The full judgment ([2022] EWCA Civ 1410) can be read here:

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Jonathan Hough KC

Call: 1997 Silk: 2014

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