What Human Rights do for Justice

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TOP 50
50 Cases
1995
Europe

The security services can’t shoot to kill without good reason

Related European Convention Articles

The SAS shot dead IRA members in Gibraltar. They suspected the men of planning a terrorist attack. The court criticised the planning of the attack. There were other options apart from shooting to kill.

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    TOP 50
    50 Cases
    1989
    Europe

    Risk of inhuman death row conditions stopped this man’s extradition

    Related European Convention Articles

    A German man faced extradition to the US on charges of murder, an offence that potentially carries the death penalty.The risk of the inhuman conditions of death row stopped his extradition.

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      Justice
      1997
      Europe

      Personal phone calls in the workplace can’t be intercepted

      Related European Convention Articles

      A police officer had her personal phone calls at work intercepted by her bosses. The European Court of Human Rights found this was a breach of her right to privacy. Shortly afterwards, the UK government criminalised intercepting phonecalls on a private network (this led to the 'phone hacking' scandal).

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      Justice
      2012
      Europe

      Abu Hamza and others can be extradited to the US

      Related European Convention Articles

      Abu Hamza and four others, wanted for terrorist activities in the US, can be deported regardless of their argument that doing so would mean they would likely receive extremely long sentences in "super-max" prisons which could amount to inhuman and degrading treatment.

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      TOP 50
      50 Cases
      2011
      Europe

      Even the Army can’t imprison without charge forever

      Related European Convention Articles

      Mr Al-Jedda was suspected of terrorism. He was detained by British forces in Iraq for over three years without charge or trial. This breached his human rights, even though it happened abroad.

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      TOP 50
      50 Cases
      1996
      Europe

      You can’t be sent to a real risk of torture

      Related European Convention Articles

      The deportation of a Sikh separatist to the Punjab where he would more than likely face torture due to his political beliefs and actions, was prohibited. The Court emphasised that everyone is protected from torture, even suspected terrorists.

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        TOP 50
        Justice
        2004
        UK

        You can’t detain foreigners without charge forever

        Related European Convention Articles

        After 9/11, the government started imprisoning suspected terrorists indefinitely without a criminal charge or conviction. This breached the right to liberty. We ended this practice of detention without trial.

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        TOP 50
        50 Cases
        2001
        UK

        We’ve a right to private legal correspondence, even in jail

        Related European Convention Articles

        Prisoners have a right to private correspondence with their lawyers. Prison officers were reading prisoners' letters before them and without them being present. This breached their human right to privacy.

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          TOP 50
          50 Cases
          2012
          Europe

          “Whole life” sentences must be reviewable

          Related European Convention Articles

          Three murderers argued that their life sentences with no hope of a review and reduction was inhuman. The court agreed, but found that none of the prisoners' sentences should be reduced. The case was later overturned: the UK's whole life sentences don't breach human rights

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          Disability
          2003
          Europe

          People with mental illness must be able to challenge their detention

          Related European Convention Articles

          A detained man with an untreatable mental illness was refused discharge. His right to challenge the lawfulness of his detention was breached by delayed review and making him prove he should no longer be detained.

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            TOP 50
            50 Cases
            1978
            Europe

            ‘Deep interrogation’ techniques are inhuman and degrading

            Related European Convention Articles

            IRA members were arrested and detained in the UK. They were subjected to "stress techniques" such as wall-standing, hooding, sleep and food deprivation. This caused physical and psychiatric suffering. The European Court said this was torture and inhuman/degrading treatment.

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              TOP 50
              50 Cases
              2008
              Europe

              Police can’t keep DNA of acquitted people forever

              Related European Convention Articles

              The police were taking DNA profiles of individuals arrested for recordable offences, even if people were acquitted. They wanted the samples destroyed. The Court found the policy and refusal to destroy the samples was a violation of the applicants' right to respect for private life.

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              Disability
              2012
              Europe

              Mrs Reynolds got compensation after her son died in psychiatric care

              Related European Convention Articles

              A mother complained that she had no access to compensation for the grief and distress caused by the untimely death of her son whilst he was in psychiatric care. She was awarded damages for violation of the right to a remedy and the right to life.

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                Justice
                1990
                Europe

                Long-term prisoners must have their sentences regularly reviewed

                Related European Convention Articles

                Two prisoners with life sentences claimed that they should have the right to have their claim periodically reviewed. They won - after a certain period, the right to liberty ensures that a sentence must be periodically reviewed.

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                  Justice
                  2014
                  Europe

                  Prosecuting a naked rambler doesn’t breach his human rights

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  Stephen Gough was attempting to walk naked from from one end of the country to the other. He was stopped by the authorities and prosecuted. The European Court said this wasn't a breach of his right to free expression.

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                    Disability
                    2005
                    Europe

                    Detention for mental health patients must be reviewed quickly

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    A woman was detained in hospital for over a year after the Mental Health Review Tribunal directed her conditional release. Her right to liberty entitled her to have the lawfulness of that detention determined by a court promptly.

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                      Justice
                      2012
                      Europe

                      The UK is not doing enough to combat domestic slavery

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      A Ugandan woman was forced to work, without breaks or time off, as a live-in carer for an elderly couple. She won her case as the UK had failed to provide proper protection against slavery and forced labour. The European Court criticised the fact that the UK does not have a specific law criminalising domestic slavery and human trafficking. This case led to the Modern Slavery Bill 2014-15.

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                      Justice
                      2011
                      UK

                      Retention of DNA evidence by police is unlawful

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      Two people who had been charged with a crime but later acquitted complained that the Police where still holding onto their DNA. They won. Guidelines which say that DNA evidence can only be destroyed in "exceptional circumstances" must be subject to their right to privacy.

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                      TOP 50
                      50 Cases
                      2013
                      UK

                      Trafficked children are victims, not criminals

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      Victims of trafficking were forced into illegal work. A young boy was forced to cultivate cannabis, and a woman promised child-minding work was forced into prostitution. Their history of trafficking should have been taken into account.

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                      Health
                      2003
                      Europe

                      Governments must look after ill people in prison

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      A heroin addict died in prison, having suffered severe withdrawal symptoms. Her children complained of inhuman and degrading treatment. The Court agreed and held states to be under a duty to ensure detainees were held in conditions compatible with human dignity.

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                      Justice
                      2015
                      UK

                      Victims of domestic violence are entitled to police protection

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      A woman's family claimed against the police because they had not responded to her calls for help when threatened by her extremely violent and threatening ex-boyfriend. He killed her. They won their case.

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                      Justice
                      2013
                      UK

                      European Union law doesn’t give prisoners the right to vote

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      Two prisoners claimed that not having a right to vote was in conflict with their rights under European Union law (which is separate from European Convention law). The UK Supreme Court disagreed.

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                      Justice
                      2012
                      Europe

                      You can’t be imprisoned indefinitely without a chance of getting out

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      An "indeterminate" prison sentence means people can be in prison forever unless they demonstrate they are safe for release. But that meant they needed to be given reasonable opportunity to prove they had become safe for release.

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                      Children
                      2002
                      Europe

                      If child access is jeopardised, parents must have legal representation

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      Parents were denied legal representation at a hearing to free their child for adoption. This breached their rights to a fair hearing and respect for family life, as the importance and complexity meant they should have legal representation.

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                        What Human Rights do for Justice
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