Beghal v. the United Kingdom (Application No. 4755/16)

A selection of key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.

108. Therefore, while of considerable value, the Court does not consider that the oversight of the Independent Reviewer is capable of compensating for the otherwise insufficient safeguards applicable to the operation of the Schedule 7 regime.

109. In conclusion, the Court considers that when the applicant was stopped at East Midlands airport in January 2011, the power to examine persons under Schedule 7 of TACT was neither sufficiently circumscribed nor subject to adequate legal safeguards against abuse. While it does not consider the absence of any requirement of “reasonable suspicion” alone to have been fatal to the lawfulness of the regime, when considered together with the fact that the examination could continue for up to nine hours, during which time the person would be compelled to answer questions without any right to have a lawyer present, and the possibility of judicially reviewing the exercise of the power would be limited, the Court finds that the Schedule 7 powers were not “in accordance with the law”. It follows that there has been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.

110. In reaching this conclusion the Court has only had regard to the Schedule 7 power to examine as it was at the time the applicant was stopped. It has not considered the amendments which flowed from the Anti‑Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and the updated Code of Practice; nor has it considered the power to detain under Schedule 7, which has the potential to result in a much more significant interference with a person’s rights under the Convention.