Legal Resources

October-December 2023

11 countries

This compilation gathers the most important judgments and decisions on prison issues handed down by the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. By reporting on the main trends in European prison case law, it aims to support legal practitioners in the prison field in their research and litigation, as well as to identify blind spots in European case law to build strategic litigation avenues.

EL-ASMAR v. DENMARK  Application no. 27753/19

Ineffective investigation into use of pepper spray against an aggressive prisoner in an observation cell without prior warning and without use made strictly necessary by his conduct: violation of Article 3 (substantive and procedural).

TINGAROV AND OTHERS v. BULGARIA  Application no. 42286/21

Statutory blanket ban on voting by prisoners: violation of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1dismissal of the applicants’ claim for just satisfaction (partly dissenting opinion of Judge Serghides).

TAKÓ AND VISZTNÉ ZÁMBÓ v. HUNGARY Applications nos. 82939/17 and 1 other

Physical separation with a glass partition during visits by relatives to a prisoner classified as “high-security inmate”: violation of Article 8.

K.P. v. POLAND  Application no. 52641/16

Restrictions on family visits: struck out (unilateral declaration).
Excessive length of applicant’s pre-trial detention and lack of sufficient grounds to justify its entire duration: violation of Article 5 § 3.
Investigation into abuse of power by a prison officer in the context of a relationship of dependence, as a consequence of which the applicant became pregnant in detention: inadmissible (loss of victim status).

STOTT v. THE UNITED KINGDOM  Application no. 26104/19

Difference in treatment in early release eligibility between prisoners serving an extended determinate prison sentence, vis-à-vis standard determinate sentence prisoners and discretionary life sentence prisoners: no violation of Article 14, taken in conjunction with Article 5.

BRYSKA AND OTHERS v. UKRAINEApplications nos. 11706/13 and 5 others

Failure of applicants residing in Ukraine to provide the Court with a valid email address: struck out.

LANG v. UKRAINE  Application no. 49134/20

No evidence showing a real risk of a sentence of life imprisonment without parole in the event of the applicant’s extradition to, and conviction in, the US: no violation of Article 3.

CANAVCI AND OTHERS v. TÜRKIYE  Applications nos. 24074/19 and 2 others

Monitoring and recording of prisoners’ meetings with their lawyers, pursuant to a legislative decree adopted under the state of emergency declared in the aftermath of the 2016 coup attempt: violation of Article 8.

VUKUŠIĆ v. CROATIA  Application no. 37522/16

Unjustified prolonged placement of a prisoner, without clothing, in a specially secured padded cell and with lights continuously on: violation of Article 3.
Inadequate conditions of detention: violation of Article 3.

MARIYA ALEKHINA AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (No. 2)  Application no. 10299/15

Refusal to register a human rights organisation providing legal assistance to prisoners, for not complying with legal registration formalities, not based on relevant and sufficient reasons: violation of Article 11.

SCHMIDT AND ŠMIGOL v. ESTONIA  Application nos. 3501/20 and 2 others

Consecutive enforcement of disciplinary punishments and security measures in prison resulting in protracted periods of solitary confinement: violation of Article 3.

İLERDE AND 10 OTHERS v. TÜRKIYE Applications nos. 35614/19 and 10 others

Inadequate conditions of detention (mainly due to systemic overcrowding), compensation claim before administrative courts deemed ineffective remedy due to fault-based liability approach: violation of Article 3.
Detention in remote facility resulting in fewer family visits, not compensated by alternative measures: violation of Article 8.

HALIT KARA v. TÜRKIYE Application no. 60846/19

Refusal of the prison authorities to dispatch a letter addressed by a prisoner to his brother, who was detained in another prison: violation of Article 8.

GN Case C-261/22 Request for a preliminary ruling (Italy)

The executing judicial authority can refuse to execute a European arrest warrant in respect of a mother of young children where there are systemic or generalised deficiencies in the conditions of detention of mothers of young children and of the care of those children in the issuing Member State and where there is a risk of breach of the fundamental rights of the persons concerned on account of these conditions.

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