Use of the lethal force by police: Lithuanian cases in ECtHR
The role of the police is pivotal in a democratic society if the concept of human rights remains meaningful and human rights are still to be protected in the light of international terrorism, unconventional and civil wars, crisis of refugees and other challenges to the existence of the rule of law principle in modern democracies. Because of the repressive nature of the work of the police, sometimes because of the lack of philosophical view to human rights and the role of the police, also make the police responsible for human rights abuses, especially those connected to right to life, prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, illegal detainment of persons (through excessive use of force, discriminatory practices), etc. The right to life (Article 2 of the Convention) is one of the most fundamental provisions in the Convention. Together with the protection from torture, it enshrines the basic values of democratic societies, and its interpretation must be guided by a recognition of its importance. In this article the violations of the right to life that occur during police activities, most precisely by using force by police officers, are analyzed. The aim of this article is to disclose the scope of the right foreseen in Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and to discuss the possible circumstances in which a state through actions of its officials (particularly – police officers) may legitimately interfere with the exercise of this right depriving right to life by using lethal force. The deprivation of life caused by actions of state authorities and the obligation of the states to investigate such actions by the form of independent and public scrutiny determining whether the force used was or was not justified in a particular set of circumstances are discussed.
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