On the facts established in the report, there is prima facie evidence that the human rights of those who died in and were affected by the fire were violated. The rights to life, to family life and to property are all protected under domestic law through the Human Rights Act 1998. The UK is also a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which recognises the rights to adequate housing and to the highest attainable standard of health. If there is a foreseeable risk to human rights of which the government (local or national) is or should be aware, and the government is in a position to ameliorate that risk, then a failure to do so amounts to a failure to secure the right in question. Human rights, however, are effectively ignored in Moore-Bick’s report.
I lived for several years on the 10th floor of a tower block in Cumbernauld. It swayed a bit in the wind, but had been strengthened after the Ronan Point disaster. Ronan Point in Canning Town was built from large prefabricated concrete panels. Ivy Hodge was one of its first tenants, moving into a corner flat on the 18th floor on 15 April 1968. At 5.45 a.m. on 16 May, she struck a match to light her gas cooker. A friend had fitted the cooker. He tested for leaks using a lighted match, but had used a substandard nut, and there was a leak. The explosion blew out the external load-bearing walls of her living room and bedroom. The corner walls of the flats above collapsed and fell. Their weight took out all the corners of the flats below. Four people were crushed to death.
A police helicopter crashed into the Clutha Vaults Bar in Glasgow on 29 November 2013. The pilot, two police officer passengers and seven in the bar were killed. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch published its final report last week. Relatives of those who died had been briefed in advance. They said that they were doubly disappointed.