THE DEATH PENALTY Human rights protection ECHR case studies

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THE DEATH PENALTY Human rights protection ECHR case studies. Alison Riley Legal English Course. The right to life. The implementation of a legal and ethical principle: Can the State decide legitimately to deprive a person of his life? What is your view?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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<ul><li><p>THE DEATH PENALTY</p><p>Human rights protectionECHR case studiesAlison RileyLegal English Course</p></li><li><p>The implementation of a legal and ethical principle: </p><p>Can the State decide legitimately to deprive a person of his life?</p><p>What is your view?</p></li><li><p>Amnesty International 2009Report on the death penalty</p><p>DecapitationFiring squad/shootingHanging Lethal injectionStoning Electric chair At least 714 people were put to death using these methods</p><p>At least 2001 people were condemned to death in 56 countries (Plus China, where data is kept secret)</p></li><li><p>AI 2009 report"The death penalty is cruel and degrading, and an affront to human dignity," </p><p>said Claudio Cordone, Amnesty International's Interim Secretary General. "The Chinese authorities claim that fewer executions are taking place. If this is true, why won't they tell the world how many people the state put to death?" </p></li><li><p>AI statistics 2009In addition to China, the worst offending nations were: Iran: at least 388 executionsIraq: at least 120Saudi Arabia: at least 69 USA: 52 In 2009 capital punishment was applied extensively to send political messages: to silence opponents to promote political agendas in China, Iran and Sudan</p></li><li><p>AI report 2009: discriminationThe report addresses the discriminatory way the death penalty was applied in 2009:</p><p>after grossly unfair trials </p><p>The death penalty was used disproportionately against:</p><p>the poorminoritiesmembers of racial, ethnic and religious communities</p></li><li><p>AI statistics 2010No stonings were reported in 2010 (but stoning sentences were reported in Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran)</p><p>In addition to China, the worst offending nations were:Iran: 252 executionsNorth Korea: 60Yemen: 53 USA: 46 At least 527 executions, down on 2009 (714)</p></li><li><p>The death sentence: an irreversible penaltyENGLANDDerek Bentley a teenager of 19</p><p>Crime: murder (1953)</p><p>Facts: his friend (16) shot a policeman dead. They were committing a crime together.</p><p>Capital punishment: hanging</p><p>1998 - after 45 years Court of Appeal: conviction unsafe</p><p>Derek Bentley was NOT GUILTY of murder</p></li><li><p>R v. DEREK WILLIAM BENTLEY (Deceased) </p><p>COURT OF APPEAL (CRIMINAL DIVISION) Royal Courts of Justice The Strand, London WC2A 2LL Thursday 30th July 1998 B E F O R E: THE LORD CHIEF JUSTICE OF ENGLAND (Lord Bingham of Cornhill) The judge misdirected the jury.New evidence was assessed including medical and school reports.Held: the conviction was unsafe and quashed. </p></li><li><p>Not presented at trialClear evidence of: serious educational and behavioural problemsimpairment of intellectual and cognitive functionthat would affect the appellant's understanding, his judgment and his memoryConsider: MENS REA / culpabilityhttp://netk.net.au/UK/Bentley.asp</p></li><li><p>U.S. ConstitutionThe VIIIth Amendment prohibits: cruel and unusual punishment The death penalty is not per se cruel and unusual punishment. But States must follow strict safeguards Case of Gregg v Georgia</p><p>The electric chair frying in a chair?</p></li><li><p>The right to lifeArticle 2 ECHR Right to life (1950)</p><p>Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law. </p><p>Paragraph 1: the death penalty is an exception to the right to lifeParagraph 2: other exceptions are envisaged: self-defence, lethal force in case of arrest, escape, riot. </p></li><li><p>Right to life Prohibition of torture Articolo 3 ECHR Prohibition of torture</p><p>No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.</p><p> European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg:The Court must also recall that the Convention is a living instrument, which must be interpreted in the light of present-day conditions. the Court [is] influenced by the developments and commonly accepted standards in the penal policy of the member States of the Council of Europe Tyrer case, 25 April 1978</p></li><li><p>The death penalty in the UKNo Bill of Rights</p><p>Regulated by legislation</p><p>In the past: many capital crimes</p><p>20th century most serious crimes:Murder, treason, piracy</p></li><li><p>Abolition of the death penaltyUKMurder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 Abolished death penalty for murder Imposed a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment</p><p>Crime and Disorder Act 1998:Abolished the death penalty for: treason, piracy with violenceLast crimes punishable with the death penalty in the UK</p></li><li><p>Public opinion and opinion pollsCould the death penalty be reintroduced in Britain? Parliamentary sovereigntyNo fundamental lawsAnd international obligations?</p><p>And in Italy?</p><p>Why could it be reintroduced?Public opinion: emotional reactions?Fear and anxiety about public safetyPolitical manipulation (instead of dealing with the causes of criminality)</p></li><li><p>Abolition in Europe: ECHRPROTOCOL No. 6 ECHR CONCERNING THE ABOLITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY Strasbourg, 28.IV.1983</p><p>Abolishes the death penalty in peacetimeRatified by 46 Council of Europe member StatesRussian Federation signed (but did not ratify)</p><p>2) Protocol No. 13 (ECHR/CEDU) concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances Vilnius, 3.V.2002Abolishes the death penalty in all circumstances, including war or imminent threat of war:Ratified by 42 Council of Europe member StatesArmenia, Latvia, Poland sign but do not ratify, Russian Federation does not sign</p></li><li><p>Protocol No. 13 (ECHR/CEDU) concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstancesVilnius, 3.V.2002The member States of the Council of Europe signatory hereto, Convinced that everyones right to life is a basic value in a democratic society and that the abolition of the death penalty is essential for the protection of this right and for the full recognition of the inherent dignity of all human beings </p><p>Have agreed as follows: </p><p>Article 1 Abolition of the death penalty</p><p>The death penalty shall be abolished. No one shall be condemned to such penalty or executed. Les Etats membres du Conseil de lEurope, signataires du prsent Protocole,Convaincus que le droit de toute personne la vie est une valeur fondamentale dans une socit dmocratique, et que labolition de la peine de mort est essentielle la protection de ce droit et la pleine reconnaissance de la dignit inhrente tous les tres humains .Sont convenus de ce qui suit: </p><p>Article 1 Abolition de la peine de mort</p><p>La peine de mort est abolie. Nul ne peut tre condamn une telle peine ni excut. </p></li><li><p>The case of Soering v UK7 July 1989 ECtHR</p><p>Facts: brutal murder of Mr and Mrs Haysom in Virginia, USA (parents of Elizabeth)Killer: Jens Soering (German), girlfriend Elizabeth present and implicated in the homicide.Events:Soering and Elizabeth fleeArrested for fraud in EnglandElizabeth sentenced to 90 years imprisonment USA requests extradition of Soering to VirginiaSoering challenges extraditionIn Virginia he would risk the death penalty</p></li><li><p>ECtHR: Soering v UK Death row phenomenonviolates article 3 ECHRDeath row phenomenon in breach of Art. 3 ECHRAverage: from 6 to 8 years on death rowExtreme conditionsGrowing anguish as the prisoner awaits execution</p><p>The Court considers: Soering was only 18 when he committed murderPossible psychiatric conditionPossible alternative: extradition to Germany</p><p> Extradition of Soering to the USA would constitute a violation of Article 3 by the UK (the extraditing State)</p></li><li><p>ECtHR Strasbourg evolution in the case law</p><p>2 March 2010Case of Al-Saadoon and Mufdhi v UKBasra, Iraq: murder of 2 British soldiersDetained by British authorities</p><p>Can they be handed over to Iraqi authorities for trial?They risk the death penalty</p></li><li><p>2010 Courts conclusions The death penalty, involving the deliberate and premeditated destruction of a human being by State authorities, causing physical pain and intense psychological suffering as a result of the foreknowledge of death, constitutes inhuman treatment violation of Article 3 Protocols + State practice are strongly indicative that Article 2 has been amended so as to prohibit the death penalty in all circumstances. (para. 120)</p></li><li><p>Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European UnionNice, 7.XII.2000 </p><p>CAPO IDIGNITArticolo 1Dignit umanaLa dignit umana inviolabile. Essa deve essere rispettata e tutelata.</p><p>KAPITEL IWRDE DES MENSCHENArtikel 1Wrde des MenschenDie Wrde des Menschen ist unantastbar. Sie ist zu achten und zu schtzen.</p><p>CHAPITRE IDIGNITArticle premierDignit humaineLa dignit humaine est inviolable. Elle doit tre respecte et protge.</p><p>CHAPTER 1DIGNITYArticle 1Human dignityHuman dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected.</p></li><li><p>Right to life Nice CharterArticolo 2Diritto alla vita1. Ogni individuo ha diritto alla vita.2. Nessuno pu essere condannato alla pena di morte, n giustiziato.Artikel 2Recht auf Leben(1) Jede Person hat das Recht auf Leben.(2) Niemand darf zur Todesstrafe verurteilt oder hingerichtet werden.</p><p>Article 2Droit la vie1. Toute personne a droit la vie.2. Nul ne peut tre condamn la peine de mort, ni excut.</p><p>Article 2Right to life1. Everyone has the right to life.2. No one shall be condemned to the death penalty, or executed.</p></li><li><p>Death Penalty in 2010: Executing countries left isolated after decade of progress</p><p>28 March 2011</p><p>Countries which continue to use the death penalty are being left increasingly isolated following a decade of progress towards abolition, Amnesty International has said today in its new report Death Sentences and Executions in 2010</p></li><li><p>AI Report 2010A total of 31 countries abolished the death penalty in law or in practice during the last 10 years but China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the USA and Yemen remain amongst the most frequent executioners, some in direct contradiction of international human rights law. </p></li><li><p>Suggested websiteswww.coe.int Council of Europe</p><p>http://europa.eu - European Unionwww.parliament.uk - UK Parliament</p><p>www.opsi.gov.uk - UK legislation</p><p>http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/ratification-of-international-treaties Amnesty International (human rights: death penalty international treaties)</p></li></ul>