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Jason Beer QC appears in judicial review concerning handcuffing detainees during medical treatment
On 5 July 2012 the Administrative Court (Collins J) handed down judgment in a claim for judicial review of (i) the Secretary of State’s policy on handcuffing detainees when they are escorted outside detention centres (e.g. for medical treatment), (ii) Serco PLC’s policy on the same issue (it runs a number of detention centres in the UK), and (iii) the application of handcuffs to a person in immigration detention – known in the proceedings as FGP – on 4 occasions in 2010 when he attended hospital for investigations, consultations and treatment: see R (FGP) v (1) SSHD (2) Serco PLC  EWHC 1084 (Admin) ( for a link to the judgment: FGP  EWHC 1084 (Admin)).
Collins J dismissed the challenge to the Secretary of State’s policy and the challenge to Serco’s policy, holding that neither of them contained an unacceptable risk of a breach of Art.3 or Art.8 ECHR. He also dismissed the claim insofar as it concerned the handcuffing of FGP on 3 of the 4 visits to hospital – on these occasions, FGP had attended as an out-patient for relatively short periods of time and the handcuffing was necessary given FGP’s past behaviour, his attempts at suicide and his previous convictions for violent offences. Collins J upheld the claim, however, in respect of some parts of a period when FGP was handcuffed whilst an in-patient in hospital, on the grounds that no separate consideration had been given to the times when FGP was receiving treatment or undergoing consultations and that some other practical measures could have been taken to prevent him from escaping or from causing harm to himself others.
Jason Beer QC appeared for Serco PLC