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Richard Clayton QC in important human rights case


Richard Clayton QC






In Minshall v HMRC the Court of Appeal for the first time considered the impact on domestic proceedings based on a victory before the European Court of Human Rights. In 2000 the claimant became subject to a Confiscation Order.

He applied to the European Court of Human Rights, which eventually decided that the 6 years taken to enforce the Confiscation Order breached the “reasonable time” requirement laid down in Article 6(1) of the Convention.

Before applying to Strasbourg, he also made an unsuccessful claim under the Human Rights Act that Article 6 was breached. Customs subsequently enforced the Confiscation Order, so that the claimant was required to pay £118,000 and was imprisoned for 3 days in default. But in deciding that the Article 6 case in the Claimant’s favour the European Court was silent about reimbursing him £118,000 or compensating him for the detention.

So the claimant then brought a new claim for restitution and damages. However, the Court of Appeal decided that the claimant was not entitled to rely on a Strasbourg case to reverse an earlier domestic decision which had ruled against him.


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