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Investigation into death of Jane Antoniou was compliant with Article 2 of the Convention

Jane Antoniou was a campaigner for the rights of those with mental health difficulties. Mrs Antoniou herself was schizophrenic and spent a number of periods in mental health facilities, as a voluntary patient and as a person detained under the Mental Health Act. She was detained in a hospital when she took her own life, on the 23rd October 2010. The claimant in this case was the deceased’s widower.

The claimant was challenging the investigation that had been carried out into his late wife’s death. He contended that the authorities were obliged to hold an immediate and independent investigation into the death before the inquest was to take place. He argued that the initial investigation was not independent and that there were flaws in it. Such flaws included not involving the next-of-kin fully in the investigation.

The Court held that there was no domestic authority supporting the contention that for an investigation to comply with Article 2, that the investigation must be independent. The Court also held that an inquest that satisfies the Middleton principles will generally meet the standards required for an investigation to be Article 2 compliant.