What Human Rights do for Justice - RightsInfo

What Human Rights do for Justice

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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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    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
    UK
    2013

    The media can disclose identity of triple murderer

    Related European Convention Articles

    A convicted child murderer challenged a decision to allow the media to report details of his offence. He argued that this resulted in threats and attacks which threatened his right to life, and freedom from degrading treatment. He lost as the public interest in knowing these facts outweighed his concerns.

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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.

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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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        Justice
        2013
        UK

        A criminal defendant had to take her veil off to give evidence in court

        Related European Convention Articles

        A female defendant in a criminal case did not want to take off her face veil in front of men who were not in her family. The judge ruled she must take it off to give evidence and be identified.

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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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        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

          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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          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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          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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          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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          Justice
          1996
          Europe

          Suspects mustn’t be forced to self-incriminate

          Related European Convention Articles

          During the investigation, the police tried to force the accused to either answer questions which would incriminate him or be in contempt of court. He won his case as this was held to be in breach of the right to a fair trial and evidence has to be sought without coercion.

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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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              Disability
              2012
              Europe

              The police must protect vulnerable people from unnecessary detention

              Related European Convention Articles

              A man was detained by the police for four days when he urgently needed psychiatric care. He got damages as this was an affront to human dignity and amounted to degrading treatment.

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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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                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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                  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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                    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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                    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.

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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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                      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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                        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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