In Polshina v Russia [2020] ECHR 448, the European Court of Human Rights held that the police’s failure to investigate complaints of domestic violence and the state's failure to provide legal protections for such victims were violations of articles 3 and 14 and justifying damages of €20,000.

In Jabłońska v Poland [2020] ECHR 329, the European Court of Human Rights held that a failure of an investigation to provide clear answers to the the circumstances surrounding police use of force when arresting and restraining a fleeing suspect, the origin and consequences of the suspect's injuries and any causal link between the force used and the suspect's death amounted to a breach of article 2, justifying damages of €26,000.

In Y v Bulgaria [2020] ECHR 163, the European Court of Human Rights set out the minimum requirements for criminal investigations where a person has been subjected to ill-treatment contrary to article 3 and held that those principles were properly derived from cases involving breaches of article 2, despite their different content and rationale. Here, the court found a breach of article 3 in respect of the authorities' failure to pursue an obvious line of enquiry in a rape investigation and awarded €7,000. It is an example how an investigation can be satisfactory in several respects but still fail to comply with the minimum requirements of article 3. It is also worth comparing with the bands of damages that English cases have suggested.

In Posa v Hungary [2020] ECHR 522, the European Court of Human Rights awarded €7,000 to a person whose complaint of police assault could not be properly investigated due to destruction of the incident footage after thirty days.

The European Court of Human Rights continues to make clear that a failure by member states to protect women from domestic violence will amount to a breach of article 3. The latest decision in Affaire Buturuga v Romania (App No. 56867/15), available only in French, found a breach of articles 3 and 8 in respect of a failure to investigate adequately and/or take action on complaints of domestic violence and awarded €10,000 general damages.   

In Znakovas v Lithuania [2019] ECHR 820, the European Court of Human Rights held that where police officers used a Taser to subdue an arrested person being taken in a police car to a police station and there was then a subsequent failure to investigate the force used, both matters amounted to a breach of article 3, justifying damages of €12,000.

In Volodina v Russia (Application No 41261/17); [2019] ECHR 539 the European Court of Human Rights has held that domestic violence falls within the description of inhuman or degrading treatment for the purposes of article 3, such that where the police receive a complaint of this, they are likely to have an obligation to launch an investigation into it for the purposes of identifying and punishing the perpetrator and, possibly, to take protective measures against such further behaviour.

This is the first of two posts on the case from the European Court of Human Rights, Shalyavski v Bulgaria [2017] ECHR 564; (App no. 67608/11) 15.6.17, concerning breaches of articles 3 and 8. This first one concerns damages for (arguably) detention contrary to article 3. Where a disabled person, unable to mobilise himself, was kept by the police in a car for between eleven and twelve hours as a result of the arrest of his carer, this amounted to a breach of article 3. Monetary damages were awarded but were typically modest.

In Gedrimas v Lithuania [2016] ECHR 641; (2017) 64 EHRR 14, the European Court of Human Rights held that where police officers used excessive force during an arrest and there was a subsequent failure to investigate the resulting complaint, both matters amounted to a breach of article 3, justifying damages of €10,000. The case follows the recent decision of Bouyid v Belgium [2015] ECHR 819; (2016) 62 EHRR 32, which held that any use of force by police officers which is not strictly necessary will amount to a breach of article 3.