What Human Rights do for Justice - RightsInfo

What Human Rights do for Justice

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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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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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    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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    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
    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
    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
    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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    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
    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
      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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        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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          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
            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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            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
            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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            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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              TOP 50
              50 Cases
              1975
              Europe

              Prisoners must be able to contact their solicitors

              Related European Convention Articles

              A prisoner was stopped from writing a letter to his solicitor. He wanted to make make a libel claim against a prison guard. He won his case. Not being allowed to contact a solicitor was a violation of the right to fair trial.

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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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                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
                  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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                  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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                  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
                    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
                      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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                        What Human Rights do for Justice
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