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Graham Gaskin Case

Volume 181: debated on Monday 26 November 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) on what date the judgment of the Government of the European court was given in the Graham Gaskin case;(2) if he will list what steps the Government have taken to implement the European court ruling of the Graham Gaskin case, listing dates and times of meetings, and those present;(3) what are the reasons for the length of time taken in completing consideration of the implementation of the ruling given in the European court on the Graham Gaskin case;(4) if he will place in the Library all the documents relating to the Graham Gaskin case held by his Department;(5) how many members of his Department's staff are engaged in the study to examine the implications of the Graham Gaskin case; when the study was opened; what the terms of reference of the study are; and when the study will be completed.

The decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the Graham Gaskin case was given on 7 July 1989. The court held, by a majority vote, that there had been a violation of article 8 of the convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the handling of Mr. Gaskin's request for access to case records relating to the period he spent in care as a child, and that the United Kingdom should pay damages to Mr. Gaskin. Payment was made to Mr. Gaskin in 1989.As I indicated in my reply to the hon. Member on 30 October at column

446 the implications of the decision in respect of policy on access to personal records are being studied. Progress is being made and I will write to the hon. Member once decisions have been taken. Copies of the judgment of the European Court in Mr. Gaskin's case are held in the Library.