Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights
This provision usually applies, apart from torture, to cases of severe police violence and poor conditions in detention. The European Court of Human Rights has further held that this provision prohibits the extradition of a person to a foreign state if they are likely to be subjected there to torture. This article has been interpreted as prohibiting a state from extraditing an individual to another state if they are likely to suffer the death penalty. This article does not, however, on its own forbid a state from imposing the death penalty within its own territory.
Article 3 – Prohibition of torture
No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
There are no exceptions or limitations on this right. This provision usually applies, apart from torture, to cases of severe police violence and poor conditions in detention. The Court has emphasized the fundamental nature of Article 3 in holding that the prohibition is made in "absolute terms—... irrespective of a victim's conduct".
In Ireland v. United Kingdom (1979–1980) the Court ruled that the five techniques developed by the United Kingdom (wall-standing, hooding, subjection to noise, deprivation of sleep, and deprivation of food and drink), as used against fourteen detainees in Northan Ireland by the United Kingdom were "inhuman and degrading" and breached the European Convention on Human Rights, but did not amount to "torture".
In Aksoy v. Turkey (1997) the Court found Turky guilty of torture in 1996 in the case of a detainee who was suspended by his arms while his hands were tied behind his back.
Selmouni v. France (2000) the Court has appeared to be more open to finding states guilty of torture ruling that since the Convention is a "living instrument", treatment which it had previously characterized as inhuman or degrading treatment might in future be regarded as torture.
In 2014, after new information was uncovered that showed the decision to use the five techniques in Northern Ireland in 1971-1972 had been taken by British ministers, the Irish Government asked the European Court of Human Rights to review its judgement. In 2018, by six votes to one,the Court declined.
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishmentEdit
On 9 July 2013, UK prisoner Jeremy Bamber won an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights that whole life imprisonment (with no chance of parole) was in contravention of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Ataun Rojo v. Spain CaseEdit
In this case, which ran jointly with the Etxebarria Caballero v. Spain case in 2014, the court held unanimously that there had been "a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights on account of the lack of an effective investigation into the applicants’ allegations of ill-treatment".
M.C. v. BulgariaEdit
M.C. v. Bulgaria is a case that was argued before the European Court of Human Rights. In December 2003 the court ruled that a violation Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention had occurred. The case discusses the existence of a positive obligation to punish rape and to investigate rape cases. Judge F. Tulkens expressed a concurring opinion in the case.
- Chahal v. United Kingdom (1997) 23 EHRR 413.
- Ireland v. United Kingdom (1979–1980) 2 EHRR 25 at para 167.
- Aksoy v. Turkey (1997) 23 EHRR 553. The process was referred to by the Court as "Palestinian hanging" but more commonly known as Strappado.
- Selmouni v. France (2000) 29 EHRR 403 at para. 101.
- "British ministers sanctioned torture of NI internees". The Irish Times. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
- ECHR revision judgment on application No. 5310/71
- Chahal v. United Kingdom (1997) 23 EHRR 413; Soering v. United Kingdom (1989) 11 EHRR 439.
- "Spain should adopt measures to protect persons held incommunicado". European Court of Human Rights, 7 October 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2016.