Jonathan Dixey acts in the judicial review upholding the MPS’ decision to block officer’s retirement

Jonathan Dixey appeared on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service in the judicial review of the MPS’ decision to suspend and then prevent the retirement of, an officer involved in the restraint of Sean Rigg who died whilst in police custody in 2008.

PC Andrew Birks had sought to retire from the police in order take up the office of curate in a parish in Sussex, however the MPS concluded that the public interest required PC Birks to remain a police officer pending the outcome of a re-investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission of the circumstances of Mr Rigg’s death.  Mrs Justice Lang DBE concluded that whilst PC Birks’ article 8 and 9 rights were engaged by the decision, the interference was justified on the basis of the public interest and the article 2 rights of Mr Rigg’s family.

The case, in which Mr Rigg’s family and the IPCC appeared as interested parties, confirms the lawfulness of suspending and then preventing an officer retiring where the public interest justifies it.

The judgment is reported as R (Birks) v. Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2014] EWHC 3041 (Admin).