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Human Rights- Article 2

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The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (hereafter referred to as “ECHR”) sets out rights and freedoms for the members of Council of Europe and consists of 59 articles.[1] Article 2 -The Right to Life[2] is considered as a very important right out of all the rights. For example, in the case, Pretty v. the United Kingdom[3], the court stated that without life, one cannot enjoy any other rights or freedoms set out in the ECHR. The Right invokes both positive and negative obligations on the part of a member state. This essay would discuss such obligations and it’s limitations with reference to case law from the European Court of Human Rights( hereafter referred to as ECtHR).

The member states are under a duty to protect the right of life by enforcement of law but how they full fill and to what extend it is covered, is up to the member state. It is at least required to make killing illegal and abolish death penalty[4] in accordance with protocol no. 13[5], which abolishes the death penalty in all circumstances. The state have the obligation to take reasonable steps to prevent over exertion of power by police and other security forces, with limits to the state’s duty. The state is required to thoroughly investigate all suspicious deaths and bring to justice any offenders. e.g. Cyprus v. Turkey (2001) [6] The state is also required to safeguard lives of individuals held in custody, even if they are mentally ill prisoners with suicidal risks, as well as providing protection for witnesses. e.g. In Keenan v United Kingdom, [7] application for breach of 2 and 3 were brought to court by the father, for the death of his son who committed suicide while service a prison sentence. the court dismissed the claim under Article 2, it stated that the prison authorities had done all that could reasonably be expected for the protection of the prisoner and kept him under close supervision. Though state is not... Show More

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