What Human Rights do for Justice - RightsInfo

What Human Rights do for Justice

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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
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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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
    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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    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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    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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      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
        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
        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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          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
            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
            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
              2005
              Europe

              You can’t ban every prisoner from voting

              Related European Convention Articles

              A blanket ban on prisoners voting, without regard to the gravity of the crime, or individual circumstances, breaches the fundamental principle of free and fair elections. And it undermines democracy.

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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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                  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
                    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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                    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
                      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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                      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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                      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
                        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
                        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
                          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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                          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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                          What Human Rights do for Justice
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