R (Parkinson) v HM Senior Coroner for Kent – Judgment
Judgment was handed down today in R (Parkinson) v HM Senior Coroner for Kent  EWHC 1501 (Admin). Samantha Leek QC acted on behalf of the Coroner, instructed by Bircham Dyson Bell.
The Court set out a helpful summary of the relevant principles as to when the enhanced investigative duty arises under article 2 of the ECHR in the context of deaths in a medical setting (§82-92). The Court noted that Lopes de Sousa Fernandes v Portugal represents the latest authoritative summary of the applicable principles under article 2 by the European Court. The Court observed that “the crucial distinction [for the purposes of article 2] is between a case where there is reason to believe that there may have been a breach which is a “systemic failure”, in contrast to an “ordinary” case of medical negligence.” The Court upheld the Coroner’s decision that article 2 was not engaged because there were no systemic failings in the care of the deceased. The Court ordered the Claimant to pay the costs of the Coroner, the NHS Trust and the treating doctor whose conduct had been impugned by the Claimant.
The judgment can be viewed here