L'affaire du sheikh au ceinturon (comments) Acerberos http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507 Blog Juridique Suisse: les Méandres du Droit FutureBlogs/0.8.6 fr sur: L'affaire du sheikh au ceinturon (Acerberos) Url: http://blog.acerberos.ch

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@George:

Thank you for your comment.

As to the first argument, I would submit that Swiss law actually provides an efficient protection against ill-treatments such as those that the victim claims to have suffered. Under Swiss law, it is both a criminal offense and a tort to hit someone with a belt. Unlike the UK case you mention, it does not appear that the courts considered the Sheikh was justified in his actions.

As to the second argument: Swiss law provides that a complaint is necessary if the harm done does not rise to a specific level. According to the media, the harm inflicted did not rise to such a level. Therefore, the State will only investigate if it is properly requested to do so by the victim. Indeed, Swiss law distinguishes between "serious" and "simple harm", the latter requiring a complaint to trigger State action.

It seems to me that this is in accordance with Art. 3 ECHR, for a "simple harm" (art. 123 of the swiss criminal code - SCC ) as understood under Swiss law does not amount to the same level of "damage" to the human body as Art. 3 ECHR, which prohibits torture and inhuman treatments. Any treatment causing more harm than art. 123 SCC (such as treatments falling within the scope of art. 122) would be investigated by the State without the need of a complaint; I believe this to be in accordance with art. 3 ECHR.]]>
blog-acerberos@nospam.org http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507#comments http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507#c200912061945161 http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507#comments Sun, 06 Dec 2009 17:45:16 GMT
sur: L'affaire du sheikh au ceinturon (george)
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You are both wrong!

Read this, it is the law and how the ECHR should be applied in national courts. Also detailed is case law which supports the victim's claim.

The first breach of article 3 ECHR:

Switzerland's failure to punish Sheikh Falah


Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) provides that: “No one shall be subject to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

The state parties to the ECHR have not only an obligation to respect the convention, but also to secure the rights and freedom defined in the Convention. As the Court stated, "the obligation on the High Contracting Parties under Article 1 of the Convention to secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention, taken in conjunction with Article 3, requires States to take measures designed to ensure that individuals within their jurisdiction are not subjected to torture or inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, including such treatment administered by private individuals" (ECHR Judgement Pretty v. the United Kingdom, application 2346/02, 29 April 2002)

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on a case comparable to the victim of the sheikh in Geneva. A child had received several blows given with a garden cane by his stepfather. The UK Courts had acquitted the stepfather of the charges of bodily harm, as a jury held that the treatment inflicted to the child was compatible with a proportionate corporal chastisement.

The European Court of Human Rights held unanimously that the United Kingdom had breached article 3, and that the UK domestic laws did not provide adequate protection against ill-treatment (ECHR Judgement, case of A. v. the United Kingdom, application 25599/94, 23 September 1998).

In the light of this case, it appears that the Swiss Courts should have condemned Sheikh Falah and that, failing to do so, they did not provide the victim with an adequate protection.

The second breach of article 3 ECHR: Switzerland's failure to open an official police investigation

There was at least one more breach of article 3 ECHR by Switzerland: the Geneva police refused to register a criminal complaint, did not conduct any official investigation, and the Courts considered the faxed complaint invalid.

According to ECHR case-law, article 3 gives rise to a positive obligation to conduct an official investigation. Such a positive obligation cannot be considered in principle to be limited solely to cases of ill-treatment by state agents (...)

Even in the absence of an express complaint, an investigation should be undertaken if there are other sufficiently clear indications that torture or ill-treatment might have occurred. A requirement of promptness and reasonable expedition is implicit in this context.

A prompt response by the authorities in investigating allegations of ill-treatment may generally be regarded as essential in maintaining public confidence in their maintenance of the rule of law and in preventing any appearance of collusion in or tolerance of unlawful acts.

Tolerance by the authorities towards such acts cannot but undermine public confidence in the principle of lawfulness and the State's maintenance of the rule of law (ECHR Judgement, case of 97 members of the Gldani congregation of Jehovah's witnesses and 4 others v. Georgia, application 71156/01, 3 May 2007, §97).

In the light of this jurisprudence, it appears that Switzerland had a duty to investigate and to punish Sheikh Falah whether or not a complaint had been filed.]]>
blog-acerberos@nospam.org http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507#comments http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507#c200912021902423 http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507#comments Wed, 02 Dec 2009 17:02:42 GMT
sur: L'affaire du sheikh au ceinturon (Acerberos) Url: http://blog.acerberos.ch

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Vous avez parfaitement raison. Vous énoncez cependant une exception laquelle est rare d'application et, à teneur de ce que les médias relatent de l'affaire, inapplicable au cas d'espèce; il semble que le refus d'entrer en matière soit dû à des vices procéduraux. Dans un tel cas, on ne pourrait dire que la Suisse ne se conforme pas à la CEDH. D'ailleurs, je me demande si l'on peut soutenir dire que la victime a été torturée au sens de l'art. 3 CEDH.]]>
blog-acerberos@nospam.org http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507#comments http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507#c200912010844246 http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2009 06:44:24 GMT
sur: L'affaire du sheikh au ceinturon (Raphaël)
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"Reprenons calmement, le raisonnement est en réalité ultra-simple. La Convention EDH vise à protéger l'individu contre l'État. L'article 3 de ladite convention prohibe la torture et les peines ou traitements inhumains ou dégradants. Il est bien entendu que le destinataire de cette interdiction est également l'État, qui n'est pas autorisé à torturer ou infliger des châtiments inhumains / dégradants. Si de tels actes sont perpetrés par des individus qui n'agissent pas au nom de l'État ou dans le cadre de leurs fonctions étatiques, l'art. 3 CEDH est inapplicable."

La question est loin d'être aussi simple. La Cour Européenne des Droits de l'Homme a reconnu de longue date et à plusieurs reprises que certains des droits donnaient lieu non seulement à une obligation négative de l'Etat (obligation de s'abstenir de comportements contraires à la protection conférée par la Convention) mais également à une obligation positive. En d'autres termes, et en donnant l'exemple le plus simple: l'Etat viole le droit à la vie tel que reconnu par la CEDH s'il ne procède pas à une enquête face à un cas d'homicide. Ces obligations positives peuvent aller très loin (par ex. le cas Osman c. UK, qui reconnaît un devoir de l'Etat d'agir, sous certaines conditions, lorsque quelqu'un reçoit des menaces de mort, sans quoi il viole le droit à la vie tel que protégé par l'art. 2 CEDH).

L'article 3, dont il est question ici et qui interdit torture et traitement inhumains et dégradants, fait également partie des droits qui confèrent à l'Etat des obligations positives (cf. par ex. Assenov c. Bulgarie).

Par conséquent, s'il est vrai que par définition la Convention "protège l'individu contre l'Etat", il n'en reste pas moins que cette "protection" s'étend parfois à des situations où la violation 'originale' du droit protégé a été perpétrée par des personnes privées qui ne doivent pas nécessairement être des agents de l'Etat.]]>
blog-acerberos@nospam.org http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507#comments http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507#c200912010220359 http://monblog.ch/acerberos/?p=200911301144507#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2009 00:20:35 GMT