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High Court hears argument in Human Rights Act challenge to the Fatal Accidents Act 1976

DATE: 29 Jul 2016

The High Court (Edis J) heard argument this week on a challenge to the compatibility of section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 with Article 8, and Article 14 read with Article 8, of the European Convention on Human Rights, in Smith v. Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The Claimant is the surviving partner in an unmarried co-habiting couple, whose former partner died as a result of the negligence of the first and second defendants. The third defendant is the Secretary of State for Justice, who was joined to defend a challenge to the exclusion of unmarried cohabiting partners from the scope of those who can claim bereavement damages under section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976. 

David Blundell appeared on behalf of the Secretary of State for Justice. Judgement has been reserved.