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ECHR Rules UK Whole Life Sentences Violate Human Rights

posted 9 Jul 2013, 05:29 by Mpelembe   [ updated 9 Jul 2013, 05:30 ]

The European Court of Human Rights rules that the whole life sentences given to three convicted murderers violate their human rights.

STRASBOURGFRANCE  (COUNCIL OF EUROPE) -  The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday (July 9) that three convicted murderers serving whole life sentences in the UK had suffered "inhuman or degrading treatment" as the terms of their sentence could not be subject to review.

The ECHR found in favour of Douglas VinterJeremy Bamber and Peter Moore -- given whole life orders for murder -- saying that the UK government had violated Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights by denying them the prospect of release.

ECHR President Dean Spielmann said that judges had ruled by 16 votes to one in favour of the first applicant Vinter who stabbed his wife in February 2008, ordering the UK government to pay 40,000 euros of costs and expenses.

Bamber was given a whole life tariff for shooting five members of his family in 1985 and Moore was handed his in 1996 for murdering four gay men.

Court officials stressed that all that was required was some prospect of review for the sentences to be in accordance with the criminals' human rights.

"All the Court is saying is that there should be the possibility, at some stage, well into their sentence, that a review takes place. What type of review; that is for the national authorities to determine. At what period the review should take place; that is also for the national authorities to determine," the ECHR's deputy registrar Michael O'Boyle said.