Key facts of the case:
The plaintiff was a severely autistic 27 year old man who was extremely intellectually disabled and had a very limited ability to communicate. He was arrested by the police in 2010 and taken to the local police station where he was detained for approximately one hour. Legal proceedings were subsequently issued challenging the lawfulness of his arrest and detention, and damages were sought for inhuman and degrading treatment, and for breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. One of the questions raised by the case was whether damages could be claimed for breach of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in respect of this incident.
14. … so far as the Charter of Fundamental Rights is concerned, it must be recalled that the rights protected by the Charter are engaged only when the Member State in question is "implementing" Union law within the meaning of Article 51(2) of the Charter. Even taken the broadest possible view of the meaning of the phrase "implementing" Union law, it is well nigh impossible to see how the Charter could come into play in relation to events which are wholly internal to this State and in respect of which Union law plays no role or part.