Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

McCann v. United Kingdom

European Court of Human Rights
21 E.H.R.R. 97 (1996)


Facts

United Kingdom authorities suspected that Daniel McCann, Sean Savage, and Mairead Farrell, members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), were plotting to detonate a car bomb at the changing of the guard in Gibraltar. As part of the briefing for their mission to thwart the bombing, Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers were told, based on intelligence received by authorities, that there would be a large car bomb that could be detonated by radio devices by the push of a button. The soldiers were also trained to shoot to kill because of the decreased time for action resulting from these push-button devices. Two days before the alleged plan was to be carried out, the three suspects arrived in Gibraltar and were secretly followed by undercover soldiers, who were carrying concealed weapons. The suspects exited their car, and McCann appeared to notice one of the soldiers. When the suspects made sudden movements, the soldiers shot and killed them out of fear that they were moving to detonate a bomb. It was later determined that McCann, Savage, and Farrell were unarmed and did not have detonating devices on them. Authorities found keys to the suspects’ car, and a later search uncovered keys to a second car, which was found to contain various explosives and ammunition. Relatives of McCann, Savage, and Farrell (plaintiffs) sued the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (defendant), arguing that the killings were unlawful and unjustified. The suits were dismissed on sovereign immunity grounds. The relatives then brought complaints to the European Commission on Human Rights (the Commission), based on violations of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention). The Commission concluded that no violation had occurred, and that decision came before the European Court of Human Rights for review.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Dissent (Ryssdal, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 218,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.