Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights requires High Contracting Parties to take appropriate steps to safeguard the lives of those within their jurisdiction, and to conduct investigations into unlawful killings. Each year, hundreds of suspects of unlawful killings flee the country of their crime. This raises the question of whether in such cross-border situations both the High Contracting Party where the killing occurred and the High Contracting Party where a suspect or evidence of the crime is present are under an obligation under Article 2 to investigate the killing and to cooperate with each other’s investigation, and whether the High Contracting Party to which a suspect has fled is under an obligation to extradite the suspect.
In Güzelyurtlu v. Cyprus and Turkey the European Court of Human Rights (Third Section) held that both respondents were under an obligation to investigate a murder and to cooperate with each other’s murder investigation where there are cross-border elements to an incident of unlawful violence leading to loss of life.
This paper shows that the findings of the Court were mistaken and that in the absence of any special features only the High Contracting Party where the unlawful killing occurred is under an obligation under Article 2 to investigate and to cooperate with the investigations of foreign police and judicial authorities. The paper also establishes that the obligation to cooperate under Article 2 must be determined by reference to the High Contracting Parties’ existing international legal rights and obligations in the area of mutual assistance in criminal matters and that Article 2 does not give rise to any new independent substantive obligation, in particular, an obligation to extradite.
Friday, June 1, 2018
Talmon: The Obligation to Investigate and to Cooperate with Investigations of Unlawful Cross-Border Killings under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights
Stefan A.G. Talmon (Univ. of Bonn - Law) has posted The Obligation to Investigate and to Cooperate with Investigations of Unlawful Cross-Border Killings under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Here's the abstract: