EIT:n suuri jaosto: Elinkautinen vankeusrangaistus ilman realistista vapautumisen mahdollisuutta loukkasi EIS 3 artiklaa26.4.2016 | Oikeusuutiset
Euroopan ihmisoikeustuomioistuimen (EIT) suuri jaosto on tänään antamassaan tuomiossa yksimielisesti katsonut – toisin kuin yksimielinen jaosto – että vankeusrangaistusta Hollannille kuuluvilla Curaçaon ja Aruban saarilla suorittaneen, murhasta vuonna 1980 tuomitun miehen, elinkautinen vankeusrangaistus ilman todellista mahdollisuutta ehdonalaiseen vapautumiseen, loukkasi Euroopan ihmisoikeussopimuksen (EIT) 3 artiklaa eli kidutuksen, epäinhimillisen ja halventavan kohtelun kieltoa.
Tapauksessa oli vielä se varsin harvinainen tilanne, että Hollannin kansallinen tuomari – jonka pitää tuomioistuimen työjärjestyksen mukaan välttämättä osallistua valituksen käsittelyyn myös suuressa jaostossa – muutti mielipidettään ja äänesti nyt loukkauksen puolesta.
In today’s Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Murray v. the Netherlands (application no. 10511/10) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:
a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case concerned the complaint by a man convicted of murder in 1980, who consecutively served his life sentence on the islands of Curaçao and Aruba (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) – until being granted a pardon in 2014 due to his deteriorating health –, about his life sentence without any realistic prospect of release. The applicant, Mr Murray, notably maintained that he was not provided with a special detention regime for prisoners with psychiatric problems. Although a legal mechanism for reviewing life sentences had been introduced shortly after he lodged his application with the Court, he argued that, de facto, he had no perspective of being released since he had never been provided with any psychiatric treatment and therefore the risk of his reoffending would continue to be considered too high to be eligible for release.
Mr Murray passed away while the case was pending before the Grand Chamber. Two of his relatives subsequently pursued his case before the Court.
The Court came to the conclusion that Mr Murray’s life sentence had not de facto been reducible. It observed that although he had been assessed, prior to being sentenced to life imprisonment, as requiring treatment, he had never been provided with any treatment for his mental condition during the time he was imprisoned. The opinions of the domestic court advising against his release showed that there was a close link between the persistence of the risk of his reoffending on the one hand and the lack of treatment on the other. Consequently, at the time he lodged his application with the Court, any request by him for a pardon was in practice incapable of leading to his release.
Hollantilaistuomari Silvisin täydentävä mielipide kuului seuraavasti:
I agree with this judgment,
which signifies an important change in the Court’s determination of the
reducibility of life sentences. The innovation concerns the de facto aspect of reducibility. In the Chamber judgment the Court’s now revised standard interpretation of de facto
reducibility was applied and it was on that basis, combined with the
refusal of the Chamber to lend generous retroactive effect to the Vinter case-law on the reducibility of life sentences, that no violation was found. Whether a life sentence was de jure and de facto
reducible used to depend upon characteristics of decision-making and
examples tending to suggest that a person serving a whole-life sentence
would be able to obtain an adjustment of that sentence, having regard to
the circumstances (see Harakchiev and Tolumov v. Bulgaria, nos. 15018/11 and 61199/12,
§ 262, ECHR 2014 (extracts)). In the current judgment the Court has put
the emphasis on the obligation of the State not to leave a
life-sentenced person with a personality disorder without serious
rehabilitative support to be able to qualify (de facto) for possible release. Thus de facto
reducibility is taken to be more than just a general characteristic of
the system for releasing life-sentenced persons. Originally I joined the
unanimous conclusion of the Chamber that there had been no violation of
Article 3 concerning the reducibility of the life sentence, but I have
to admit that the applicant’s representative has convincingly shown to
the Grand Chamber that the possibility of release had no substantive
meaning in the circumstances of this case, where the applicant could not
reasonably have qualified for it by means of his own efforts.
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