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St Mary's School of Management and Social Sciences Research Seminar

Date:
Wednesday 10th December 2014

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Lethal Force and the Democratic State under the ECHR

Where: St Mary's University, Twickenham, Room B13 When: Wednesday 10th December, 3-4pm Contact: For more information please contact victoria.armstrong@smuc.ac.uk. Speaker: Dr. Stephen Skinner (University of Exeter) Abstract: In recent years a number of incidents involving deaths resulting from police operations have hit the headlines, in the UK and across Europe. Under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), specifically Article 2 on the Right to Life the first and most fundamental right protected in the ECHR such killings will not constitute a breach of that right only if the resort to force was absolutely necessary for a legitimate purpose specified in Article 2. In its case law on lethal force, the European Court of Human Rights has explicitly linked these Article 2 controls with the concept of democracy, but what exactly that linkage involves is largely implicit in those judgments. Using examples from Article 2 cases over the past twenty years, since the first lethal force judgment in 1995 (McCann v UK), this paper will explore the relationship between lethal force and democracy in ECHR law. It argues (1) that the Court’s construction of that relationship is heavily influenced by the origins of the ECHR and its fundamental values; and (2) that that relationship has two key dimensions, including not only substantive standards, but also qualitative standards and values. The paper will offer some reflections on the importance of that relationship and its two dimensions both for critical academic engagement with lethal force case law, and for the application of that law in practice.
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Date:
Wednesday 10th December 2014

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For more information about this event please email conferences@stmarys.ac.uk or call 020 8240 8219.

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