Published 22nd June 2021

SW v THE UK Application no. 87/18 (European Court of Human Rights)

Michael acted for the applicant in this successful application to the European Court of Human Rights. The Court of Appeal had found that her treatment by a High Court judge when she was a witness in family proceedings breached her rights under Articles 6 and 8 ECHR. However, she was unable to obtain compensation for those breaches in the domestic courts because section 9(3) of the Human Rights Act 1998 limits the award of damages in respect of judicial acts. 

The European Court found that there had been a violation of Article 8 ECHR and that there had been a violation of Article 13 as the applicant did not have access to an effective remedy at the national level. This judgment has serious implications for the Human Rights Act and should lead to the amendment of section 9(3) to remedy its incompatibility with Article 13 ECHR. 

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