Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights

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Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibits torture, and "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 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.

Bamber Case[edit]

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.

The Grand Chamber voted overwhelmingly in favour of the decision by 16-1, meaning that the UK government will now be forced to review 49 instances of whole life sentences.

Ataun Rojo v. Spain Case[edit]

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".[1]

M.C. v. Bulgaria[edit]

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.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Spain should adopt measures to protect persons held incommunicado". European Court of Human Rights, 7 October 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2016.

External links[edit]