Police Law Blog European Decisions Statutory Materials

€12,000 for failure to investigate acid attack breaching Art 2 – but were all issues considered?

In Tershana v Albania [2020] ECHR 586; (2021) 72 EHRR 13, the authorities’ failure adequately to investigate an acid attack against a woman amounted to a breach of the procedural obligation under Article 2, justifying damages of €12,000. In some ways, however, the judgment seems to be unsatisfying – citing cases that don’t quite fit the propositions stated and not examining potential breaches of Articles 3 and 14.

€26,000 for failure adequately to investigate death arising from suspect’s arrest and restraint

In Jabłońska v Poland [2020] ECHR 329, the European Court of Human Rights held that a failure of an investigation to provide clear answers to the the circumstances surrounding police use of force when arresting and restraining a fleeing suspect, the origin and consequences of the suspect’s injuries and any causal link between the force used and the suspect’s death amounted to a breach of Article 2, justifying damages of €26,000.

Minimum requirements under Article 3 for rape investigation, €7,000 awarded for breach

In Y v Bulgaria [2020] ECHR 163, the European Court of Human Rights set out the minimum requirements for criminal investigations where a person has been subjected to ill-treatment contrary to Article 3 and held that those principles were properly derived from cases involving breaches of Article 2, despite their different content and rationale. Here, the court found a breach of Article 3 in respect of the authorities’ failure to pursue an obvious line of enquiry in a rape investigation and awarded €7,000. It is an example how an investigation can be satisfactory in several respects but still fail to comply with the minimum requirements of Article 3. It is also worth comparing with the bands of damages that English cases have suggested.