26 January 2009


Lord Justice Sedley

"... In place of the principle painstakingly established in the course of two centuries and more, and fundamental to the civil rights enjoyed by the people of this country - that an arrest must be objectively justified and that no more force may be used in effecting it than is reasonably necessary - the section gives immunity from civil suits, not confined to those involving personal injury, to constables who make arrests on entirely unreasonable grounds, so long as they are not acting in bad faith, and accords them impunity for using all but grossly disproportionate force in so doing. Conscious of art. IX of the Bill of Rights 1689, we say only that there is no indication that Parliament was aware, much less intended, that what it was enacting would have this effect."

From Adorian v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2009] EWCA Civ 18 which looks at s329 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

It appears that someone got a good kicking when being arrested - "He was taken to hospital where he was found to have suffered multiple fractures of the head of the right femur and of the acetabulum, the ball and socket of the hip joint. This is a class of injury associated with head-on car crashes or falls from a significant height" - and went on to sue the police.

He found the caltrop of section 329 in his path; fortunately, the courts cleared the path for him.

Another victory for justice. Interesting to see the court of appeal being slightly annoyed at the same time being explicit about the Supremacy of Parliament (the 'being concious about art IX of the Bill of Rights 1689' bit).

On another point, curious to see Pepper v Hart having a brief outing and then quickly being packed away.

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