Annual review of ECtHR Judgments – 2016

In 2016 the Court delivered several judgements of major importance regarding prisons. It identified a few “systemic problems”, namely: the detention conditions in Moldova (Mescereacov v. the Republic of Moldova, no. 61050/11); the detention of mentally-ill detainees in Belgium (W. D. v. Belgium, no. 73548/13); and the overuse of pre-trial detention without due justification in Russia (Zherebin v. Russia, no. 51445/09). The Grand Chamber delivered the awaited [GC] Muršić v. Croatia (no. 7334/13) judgment in which it clarified its position regarding prison overcrowding; and specified its criteria concerning life sentences in [GC] Murray v. the Netherlands (no.10511/10). Last, in the case of [GC] Blokhin v. Russia (no. 47152/06) the Court addressed several aspects of the detention of juvenile offenders – it refined its definition of a “detention for the purpose of educational supervision” as referred to in Art.5, specified the procedural rights of juveniles under Art.6 and detailed the contracting States’ obligations regarding the protection of the health of juvenile detainees.

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