Overview

liberty and freedom from arbitrary detention


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A right set out in Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights and now part of UK law as a consequence of the Human Rights Act1998. All detentions must be prescribed by law and detentions must only be for one of the specified purposes set out in Article 5. Those detained must promptly be given reasons for their detention and then at regular intervals have access to a court to test the lawfulness of their continued detention. Arrest is only lawful when based on reasonable suspicion, which is an objective test (Fox v UK (1991) 13 EHRR 157). Those remanded in custody pending a criminal trial must be released on bail unless their detention is justified and they shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time. There is an enforceable right to compensation for unlawful detention.

Subjects: Law.


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