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European Court of Human Rights on Enforced Disappearances Case-Law Study

NCJ Number
Internal Security Volume: 5 Issue: 1 Dated: January-June 2013 Pages: 7-16
Jakub Czepek
Date Published
June 2013
10 pages
The main aim of this article is to present the issue of enforced disappearances in judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
The issue of enforced disappearances is an important one. Both, universal and regional systems of human rights protection struggle against this particularly grave violation of several human rights. This problem had also been taken up by NGO's dedicated to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. In the Court's view, enforced disappearances constitute a violation of several rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), such as the right to life (both in material and procedural aspects), freedom from torture (both in respect to the disappeared person and the relatives of the disappeared person), the right to liberty and security and the right to an effective remedy. The Court in its case-law has already formed an interpretation of Convention rights in respect to enforced disappearances. However, an important question arises in the case Aslakhanova and others v. Russia: Can a series of similar acts of enforced disappearances and lack of effective domestic investigation constitute a systemic violation of the Convention? (Published Abstract)