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A very successful action? Historical wrongs at common law

Version 2 2024-06-18, 00:40
Version 1 2017-06-05, 12:27
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-18, 00:40 authored by SK Shah, T Poole
Abstract: This paper examines the first major case on historical wrongs to come before the UK Supreme Court: Keyu v Foreign Secretary (2015). The case concerned an alleged massacre involving British soldiers during the Malayan Emergency in 1948 and the failure to investigate the incident by British authorities both at the time and later. As such, it feeds into the wider discourse on the former colonial state’s responsibility for covering up historical wrongs. Brought by relatives of the victims, the case required the Court to consider the question of jurisdiction for extraterritorial wrongs by a former colonial power, and to work out whether the state today had legal responsibility for the actions in question under either the European Convention on Human Rights or customary international law or the common law of judicial review. Although the claimants lost the case, the paper argues that the Supreme Court nonetheless ensured that they did ‘win’ a full public statement, on the record, of the killings and of subsequent cover-ups which pulled few punches when criticizing government and colonial authorities.

History

Journal

UK Supreme Court yearbook

Volume

7

Pagination

167-189

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

2397-0006

Language

eng

Notes

Unable to locate official published copy. This document is a "Law Society Economy Working Papers" but is clearly the paper concerned. The subject of the paper "Keyu" is not mentioned in the title.

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal, C Journal article

Copyright notice

2016, The Authors

Publisher

Appellate Press

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