What Human Rights do for Justice - RightsInfo

What Human Rights do for Justice

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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
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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    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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      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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        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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          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
          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
          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
            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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              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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                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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                  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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                  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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                    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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                      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
                        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
                        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
                        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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                          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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                            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
                            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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