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Condemnation of France by the European Court of Human Rights, for violation of article 3, because of the treatments inflicted on a detainee in 2007

By a judgment of 5 December 2019, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of the substantive and procedural aspects of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned the applicant’s complaints of inhuman and degrading treatment and

disproportionate use of force by prison staff while he was in detention, and his allegation that the subsequent investigation had been ineffective and lacked independence.


The Court held that the applicant had been subjected by prison wardens to inhuman and degrading treatment on 5 and 6 July 2007. During the investigation – which had ended with a decision that there was no case to answer – the investigating judge and the Investigation Division appeared to have applied different criteria in assessing the witness statements. The credibility of the wardens’ statements should have been carefully checked. The Court therefore found that the applicant had not had the benefit of an effective investigation.


Cf. Cour EDH, J.M. c. France, Req. n° 71670/14, Arrêt (5ème section), décembre 2019,{%22itemid%22:[%22001-198992%22]}

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