What Human Rights do for Justice - RightsInfo

What Human Rights do for Justice

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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
    2012
    UK

    Sole carer mothers in prison should usually get childcare leave

    Related European Convention Articles

    Mothers who are sole carers of their children and are within two years of their release date should sometimes be given child care leave, allowing them to spend up to three days a week with their children. The prison authorities had been acting too inflexibly.

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    TOP 50
    50 Cases
    1772
    UK

    Slavery is odious

    Related European Convention Articles

    A slave escaped then was imprisoned by his "master" on a ship bound for Jamaica, where he would be sold. Lord Mansfield ordered his release and said there was no support for slavery in English law: "The state of slavery...is so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it". A key moment for the abolition movement.

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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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      Health
      2009
      Europe

      Prison medical officers can’t interfere in private correspondence

      Related European Convention Articles

      The applicant served his prison sentence after suffering a brain haemorrhage and was required to attend hospital for every six months. He complained that the prison medical officer read his medical correspondence. The Court agreed this was an unjust interference with his right to correspondence.

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      Health
      2002
      Europe

      Authorities must consider carefully detention of seriously ill prisoners

      Related European Convention Articles

      The applicant's continued detention whilst his health was deteriorating breached the State's duty to protect prisoners from distress or hardship beyond that which you would normally expect in prison.

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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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      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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        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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        Children
        1995
        Europe

        Parents can access info related to their child’s case

        Related European Convention Articles

        Parents of a child taken into care were not allowed to see documents referred to at a hearing to determine care provisions and access to their son. This breached their rights to a fair hearing and respect for family life.

        Related links

          Justice
          1996
          Europe

          Being effectively defended by a lawyer is fundamental to a fair trial

          Related European Convention Articles

          John Murray had been arrested in Ireland on suspicion of terrorism. The case was primarily about the right to remain silent, but the court used it as an opportunity to reiterate that proper access to a lawyer is a fundamental element of the right to a fair trial.

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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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              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
              2014
              UK

              Everyone deserves access to justice – that means legal aid where necessary

              Related European Convention Articles

              In this decision, the right to legal aid is discussed by the court. It is established that in some cases, in order for access to justice to be achieved, legal aid must be granted when there would be an obvious unfairness.

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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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                TOP 50
                50 Cases
                2012
                Europe

                Everyone has protection from torture and unfair trial, including terrorists

                Related European Convention Articles

                Abu Qatada was at risk of being prosecuted using evidence obtained by torture, contrary to his to a fair trial. He was eventually deported after Jordan amended its constitution to stop the use of torture evidence.

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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
                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
                  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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                  TOP 50
                  50 Cases
                  UK
                  2001

                  You can’t be detained without medical proof of why

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  If you’re detained by the state because you are mentally ill, the reason for your detention must be regularly reviewed. It wasn't for detained mental health patients to demonstrate why they should be released - the treating clinicians should have to justify continuing detention. The law was later changed.

                  Related links

                    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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                    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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                      What Human Rights do for Justice
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