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Easdale Campbell -v- Scottish Ministers & Others [2017] CSOH 35

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Easdale Campbell -v- Scottish Ministers & Others [2017] CSOH 35

13 March 2017

Lady Wise has dismissed an action for damages arising from an allegation that the Scottish Prison Service and various private companies involved in the detention and transit of prisoners to and from hospital breached an individual prisoner’s human rights under Articles 3 and 8 ECHR by handcuffing him during escorts to and from hospital and while undergoing medical treatment.

The Court heard submissions from counsel over the course of several days. The case raised a number of issues, including whether the application of handcuffs constituted either degrading treatment or a disproportionate or unlawful interference with the pursuer’s private life; the existence of and scope of any obligation to remove handcuffs from prisoners whilst obtaining medical treatment or attending hospital; whether private bodies contracted to transport the prisoner were to be treated as public authorities under the Human Rights Act 1998; which of the defenders was responsible for the handcuffing; and questions of time bar.

All of the four defenders' were represented by Axiom Counsel: David Johnston QC, Ruth Crawford QC, Morag Ross QC, Euan Duthie and Dan Byrne.