Investigations, Prosecutions and Amnesties Under Articles 2 & 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights

40 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2015

Date Written: October 1, 2015

Abstract

There is clear jurisprudence on the procedural obligations on states to investigate alleged violations of Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) has not yet been asked to rule directly on the status of an amnesty law under the Convention. It has, however, made some general comments on amnesties in a small number of cases. Drawing on this case law, together with the Court’s judgments on the procedural obligations arising from Articles 2 and 3, the report explores the circumstances in which the Court could find amnesties to be permissible. This report argues that the Court has developed a bifurcated approach, whereby amnesties that prevent prosecutions for violations, such as torture or ‘massive human rights violations’ that can also be considered international crimes are subject to greater scrutiny than amnesties that cover only Convention violations. Nonetheless, the report argues that the Court has left open the possibility that amnesties even for the most serious offences could be acceptable in some circumstances, such as a reconciliation process and/or a form of compensation to the victims. This report is produced as part of AHRC-funded project on Amnesties, Prosecutions, and the Public Interest in the Northern Ireland Transition.

Keywords: European Court of Human Rights, right to life, freedom from torture, amnesties, duty to investigate, duty to prosecute

Suggested Citation

Mallinder, Louise, Investigations, Prosecutions and Amnesties Under Articles 2 & 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (October 1, 2015). Transitional Justice Institute Research Paper No. 15-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2668106 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2668106

Louise Mallinder (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

School of Law
Belfast, County (optional) BT1 7NN
United Kingdom
02890973470 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
111
Abstract Views
461
rank
246,455
PlumX Metrics