Failure to enforce sentence imposed on sex offender breached ECHR

In Chamber judgment on 13.4.2021 in the case of E.G. v. Republic of Moldova (application no. 37882/13) 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 and a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private life). 

The case concerned a sexual assault on the applicant in February 2008, and in particular the failure to enforce the sentence imposed on one of her three attackers. The offender in question had been granted an amnesty while the authorities were still looking for him and he had never served his sentence. The benefit of this amnesty had subsequently been annulled. However, the period of about one year during which he had benefited from the amnesty had enabled him to leave Moldova, shortly before the last annulment decision. 

The Court found that the sexual assault on the applicant had constituted a serious breach of her right to protection from bodily harm and mental distress. The measures taken by the State for the enforcement of the offender’s sentence had not been sufficient in the light of its obligation to enforce criminal sentences handed down against the perpetrators of sexual assaults. The granting of the amnesty and the authorities’ failure to enforce the sentence had been incompatible with the positive obligations of the Moldovan State under Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention. (photo:pixabay)

Full text of the decision (in french) here


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