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An exploration of ECtHR jurisprudence governing the administration of release processes for life and long-term sentence prisoners: perspectives from the United Kingdom

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-03-21, 15:48 authored by Ger CoffeyGer Coffey
The purpose of the research themes examined in this article is to contribute to the ongoing debate pertaining to substantive criminal laws and procedures governing sentence reviews of prolonged detention for life and long-term sentence prisoners in accordance with Article 5(4) ECHR. The incompatibility of whole life irreducible sentences with Article 3 ECHR is examined through the lens of the ECtHR judgment in Vinter, Moore and Bamber v United Kingdom. The analyses of ECtHR jurisprudence is heavily skewed towards the administration of indeterminate life, and by analogy long-term determinate sentences, in the United Kingdom which is an outlier jurisdiction in a European context given that, in conjunction with Turkey, it accounts for the majority of persons serving life sentences. The article focuses on pertinent ECHR provisions and associated ECtHR jurisprudence, with perspectives from the United Kingdom on their implementation as a case study. While key themes are disinterred from the ECtHR’s jurisprudence that will presumably inform sentence review procedures in European states, a broader analysis of release systems operative in a European context is beyond the scope of the article.

History

Publication

New Journal of European Criminal Law;12 (4), pp. 594-621

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Note

peer-reviewed

Language

English

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