Complaint of life imprisonment without realistic prospect of release

Complaint of life imprisonment without realistic prospect of release

Case of Murray v. the Netherlands (application no. 10511/10)

In the case of Murray v. the Netherlands (application no. 10511/10) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned the complaint by a man convicted of murder in 1980, who consecutively served his life sentence on the islands of Curaçao and Aruba (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) – until being granted a pardon in 2014 due to his deteriorating health –, about his life sentence without any realistic prospect of release. The applicant, Mr Murray, notably maintained that he was not provided with a special detention regime for prisoners with psychiatric problems. Although a legal mechanism for reviewing life sentences had been introduced shortly after he lodged his application with the Court, he argued that, de facto, he had no perspective of being released since he had never been provided with any psychiatric treatment and therefore the risk of his reoffending would continue to be considered too high to be eligible for release.

Mr Murray passed away while the case was pending before the Grand Chamber. Two of his relatives subsequently pursued his case before the Court.

The Court came to the conclusion that Mr Murray’s life sentence had not de facto been reducible. It observed that although he had been assessed, prior to being sentenced to life imprisonment, as requiring treatment, he had never been provided with any treatment for his mental condition during the time he was imprisoned. The opinions of the domestic court advising against his release showed that there was a close link between the persistence of the risk of his reoffending on the one hand and the lack of treatment on the other. Consequently, at the time he lodged his application with the Court, any request by him for a pardon was in practice incapable of leading to his release.

 

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Avv. Giacomo Romano

Ideatore e Coordinatore at Salvis Juribus
Nato a Napoli nel 1989, ha conseguito la laurea in giurisprudenza nell’ottobre 2012 con pieni voti e lode, presso l'Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, discutendo una tesi in diritto amministrativo dal titolo "Le c.d. clausole esorbitanti nell’esecuzione dell’appalto di opere pubbliche", relatore Prof. Fiorenzo Liguori. Nel luglio 2014 ha conseguito il diploma presso la Scuola di specializzazione per le professioni legali dell'Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. Subito dopo, ha collaborato per un anno con l’Avvocatura Distrettuale dello Stato di Napoli occupandosi, prevalentemente, del contenzioso amministrativo. Nell’anno successivo, ha collaborato con uno studio legale napoletano operante nel settore amministrativo. Successivamente, si è occupato del contenzioso bancario e amministrativo presso studi legali con sede in Napoli e Verona. La passione per l’editoria gli ha permesso di intrattenere una collaborazione professionale con una nota casa editrice italiana. È autore di innumerevoli pubblicazioni sulla rivista “Gazzetta Forense” con la quale collabora assiduamente da giugno 2013. Ad oggi, intrattiene collaborazioni professionali con svariate riviste di settore e studi professionali. È titolare di “Salvis Juribus Law Firm”, studio legale presso cui, insieme ai suoi collaboratori, svolge quotidianamente l’attività professionale avendo modo di occuparsi, in particolare, di problematiche giuridiche relative ai Concorsi Pubblici, Esami di Stato, Esami d’Abilitazione, Urbanistica ed Edilizia, Contratti Pubblici ed Appalti.

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