‘Abduction of Europa’ (Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Amsterdam - 1632 - fragment)

Thursday, 28 January 2016

This week in Strasbourg - A roundup of the European Court of Human Rights' case law - 2016 - week 4

Ineffective criminal investigation and insufficient legal reasoning with regard to allegations of ill-treatment during an identity check and arrest - case of Alpar v. Turkey - a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights under its procedural head - The Court found, in particular, that the authorities had not conducted an effective investigation into Mr Alpar’s allegations of ill-treatment. It noted that the prosecutor’s office had issued its order discontinuing the proceedings approximately five years and six months after the complaint had been lodged, that the judicial authorities had dismissed it without providing genuine legal reasoning and without determining the degree of force used during the arrest, and that the criminal investigation had concerned only the allegations of ill-treatment after Mr Alpar’s arrest. The Court also noted that the prosecutor had merely recorded that there was insufficient evidence to proceed, without providing explanations, and had also considered that the case was in any event time-barred.

Aggravating circumstance of murder applied in convicting a man for robbery did not breach his Convention rightscase of Iasir v. Belgiumno violation of Article 6 § 2 (presumption of innocence) of the European Convention on Human Rights, and no violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial). The case concerned criminal proceedings in which Mr Iasir was convicted of robbery, aggravated by the murder of a police officer who was killed by an accomplice at the scene. The Court found in particular that the Assize Court had sufficiently analysed the voluntary element when considering the murder as an aggravating circumstance of Mr Iasir’s guilt. The trial court had properly examined his conduct and role during and after the acts leading to the death of the police officer. It had validly taken the view that Mr Iasir had envisaged and accepted the fact that third parties might lose their lives and that, accordingly, the murder was an aggravating circumstance to be applied in convicting him.

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