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International Law. Human Rights. Tyrer case. Consider the facts of the Tyrer case in relation to human rights and decide what you think the case will centre on. International Law – Human Rights. What do you think the text will be about? What kind of information will it contain?.

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international law

International Law

Human Rights

tyrer case
Tyrer case
  • Consider the facts of the Tyrer case in relation to human rights and decide what you think the case will centre on.
international law human rights
International Law – Human Rights
  • What do you think the text will be about? What kind of information will it contain?
background information
Background information
  • Under the original system, 3 institutions responsible for enforcing the obligations undertaken by the Contracting States: the European Commission of Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
background information1
Background information
  • All applications lodged under the Convention by individual applicants and Contracting States - the subject of a preliminary examination by the Commission, which decided whether they were admissible.
background information2
Background information
  • If a complaint was declared admissible, and where no friendly settlement was reached, the Commission drew up a report establishing the facts and expressing a non-binding opinion on the merits of the case.
background information3
Background information
  • The Commission and/or the Government of the State in question could then decide to refer the case to the Court for a final, binding adjudication.
  • If the case was not brought before the Court, it was decided by the Committee of Ministers
procedure today registry
Procedure today: Registry
  • The main function: to process and prepare for adjudication applications lodged by individuals
  • Registry’s lawyers : divided into 31 case-processing divisions, each of which is assisted by an administrative team.
  • The lawyers prepare files and analytical notes for the Judges.
  • The lawyers also correspond with the parties on procedural matters. They do not themselves decide cases.
  • Cases - assigned to the different divisions on the basis of knowledge of the language and legal system concerned.
  • The documents prepared by the Registry for the Court are all drafted in one of its two official languages (English and French).
proceedings at national level
Proceedings at national level
  • Exhaustion of domestic court
  • Decision of the highest domestic court
  • Application to the Court
proceedings before the european court of human rights
Proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights
  • Admissibility criteria:

6-month deadline for applying to the Court(from the final domestic judicial decision)

  • Applicant has suffered a significant disadvantage
  • Complaints to be based on the European Convention
  • Exhaustion of domestic remedies
initial analysis
Initial analysis
  • Examination of the admissibility and merits
  • Inadmissibility decision = case concluded
  • Admissibility decision
  • Judgment finding no violation
  • Judgment finding a violation

Request for re-examination of the case

  • Request accepted
  • = referral to the Grand Chamber
  • Request dismissed = case conluded
  • Judgment finding no violation = case concluded
  • Final judgment finding a violation

Final judgment finding a violation

  • Transmission of the case file to the Committee of Ministers
  • www.
obligations of the state in question
Obligations of the State in question
  • Adoption of individual measures
  • (restitution, reopening of the proceedings...)
  • Payment of compensation
  • (just satisfaction)
  • Adoption of general measures
  • (amendment to the legislation...)
examination by the committee of ministers
Examination by the Committee of Ministers
  • Unsatisfactory execution
  • Satisfactory execution
  • Final resolution = case concluded
reading to understand the general theme
Reading to understand the general theme
  • Quickly skim the text on p. 160-61 to understand what the general themes are, and see if your ideas were right or wrong
paragraph headings
Paragraph headings
  • Decide what each paragraph of the text is about and give each one a suitable heading
proceedings before the commission
Proceedings before the Commission
  • 19. In his application, lodged with the Commission on 21 Sept. 1972, Mr Tyrer complained, in particular, that:
proceedings before the commission1
Proceedings before the Commission
  • his judicial corporal punishment constituted a breach of Article 3 of the Convention;
  • - such punishment was destructive of family well-being and therefore contrary to Article 8 of the Convention;
proceedings before the commission2
Proceedings before the Commission
  • no remedies existed to rectify the violation, which was inconsistent with Art. 13 of the Convention;
  • - the punishment was discriminatory within the meaning of Art. 14 of the Convention in that it was primarily pronounced on persons from financially and socially deprived homes;
  • - the violation of Art. 3 also constituted a violation of Art. 1 of the Convention.
proceedings before the commission3
Proceedings before the Commission
  • The applicant also claimed damages as well as repeal of the legislation concerned.
proceedings before the commission4
Proceedings before the Commission
  • In its decision of 19 July 1974, the Commission, having considered ex officio that the facts of the case raised issues of discrimination on grounds of sex and/or age contrary to Art. 14 of the Convention, taken together with Art. 3:
proceedings before the commission5
Proceedings before the Commission
  • - decided not to proceed further with an examination of the original complaint under Art. 14 which the applicant had subsdequently withdrawn;
  • -declared admissible and retained those parts of the application which raised issues under Art. 3, either alone or in conjunction with Art. 14;
  • - declared inadmissible the remainder of the application.
proceedings before the commission6
Proceedings before the Commission
  • In January 1976, the Commission was notified that the applicant wished to withdraw his application. However on 9 March 1976, the Commission decided that it could not accede to this request ‘since the case raised questions of a general character affecting the observance of the Convention which necessitated a further examination of the issues involved.’ The applicant took no further part in the proceedings.
proceedings before the commission7
Proceedings before the Commission
  • In its report of 14 Dec. 1976, the Commission expressed the opinion: the fourteen votes to one, that the judicial corporal punishment inflicted on the applicant was degrading and was in breach of Art. 3 of the Convention;
proceedings before the commission8
Proceedings before the Commission
  • - that it was not necessary, in view of the preeding conclusion, to pursue an examination of the issue under Art. 14 of the Convention;
proceedings before the commission9
Proceedings before the Commission
  • As regards Art. 63 & 3 of the Convention, that there were not any significant social or cultural differences between the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom which could be relevant to the application of Article 3 in the present case.
  • The report contains one separate opinion.
paragraph headings1
Paragraph Headings
  • 19: Mr Tyrer’s Application
  • 20. The Commission’s decision on which Articles to examine the application
  • 21: Tyrer’s request to withdraw his application
  • 22: The Comimission’s opinion on Articles 3,14 and 63
understanding law terms
Understanding law terms
  • Which words and phrases belong specifically to the field of Internarional Law, and which are also general law terms that you could find in the context of domestic law. Are these words specific to any particular branch of domestic law?
law terms
Law terms
  • Applicant
  • Application
  • To lodge an application
  • To withdraw an application
  • To pronounce punishment on
  • To inflict punishment
  • To claim damages
  • To repeal legislation
  • To take part in the proceedings
  • In breach of
false friends
False friends?
  • The results of the survey were inconsistent
  • a) There was not enough information
  • b) They did not show a regular pattern
false friends1
False friends?
  • They retained nothing
  • A) they kept nothing
  • B) they thought nothing
false friends2
False friends?
  • She comes from a deprived family
  • A) Her family are poor and needy
  • B) her family are corrupt, perverted
false friends3
False friends?
  • We affected their plans
  • A) We copied or imitated their plans
  • B) We influenced their plans
false friends4
False friends?
  • Equitable remedies exist to supplement the common law.
  • A) solutions, cures
  • B) means to enforce a right or compensate a wrong
translation equivalents
Translation equivalents?
  • Inconsistent
  • Koji nije u skladu, odstupajući, nespojiv, proturječan, nedosljedan, nelogičan, neujednačen, odudarajući; nepostojan, kontradiktoran; nestalan; neusuglašen
  • Inconsistent argument
  • Nedosljedan argument
  • Inconsistent data
  • Proturječni podaci
  • Inconsistent reasoning
  • Nelogično rezoniranje
  • Inconsistent with
  • U neskladu s
  • Uskraćen, lišen
  • Deprived child
  • Zanemareno dijete
  • Deprived of freedom
  • Lišen slobode
  • Socially deprived
  • Socijalno u nepovoljnom položaju
  • Čuvati, zadržavati, preuzeti pravo, uzeti u službu
  • Retain all powers
  • Zadržati sve ovlasti

Retain the right

  • Djelovati na, utjecati; kompromitirati; imati učinak; hiniti; ugroziti
  • Affect adversely
  • Nepovoljno djelovati, štetno djelovati
  • Affect an obligation
  • Utjecati na obvezu
  • Affect the interests
  • Ugroziti interese
  • affect the rights
  • Ugroziti prava
  • Pravni lijek, pravno sredstvo, pravna zaštita,
  • Remedy at law/legal remedy
  • Pravni lijek
  • Remedy hearing
  • Žalbeno ročište
  • Avail oneself of a remedy
  • Iskoristiti pravni lijek
  • To be denied a remedy
  • Uskratiti pravni lijek
  • Domestic remedy
  • Domaća pravna sredstva
  • Remedies and redress
  • Pravna sredstva i pravna zaštita
choose the correct form inconsistent retain affect discrimination deprived
Choose the correct form: inconsistent, retain, affect, discrimination, deprived
  • In many countries a law which is____with the constitution is not valid.
  • The beneficiary of the will___the house, but sold everything else.
  • Changes in the law have seriously____workers’ rights
  • They were prosecuted under the Race Relations Act for racial____
  • It seems that young people from____social background are more likely to become delinquents.
find the following words in the text
Find the following words in the text:
  • Family well-being (7-8)
  • Rectify (10)
  • Discriminatory (13)
  • Repeal (20)
  • Raised issues (23)
  • Withdrawn (30)
find the words in the text
Find the words in the text:
  • Admissible (31)
  • Inadmissible (35)
  • Remainder (35)
  • Accede (40)
  • Degrading (51)
council of europe
  • The European Convention on Human Rights
  • ROME 4 November 1950
article 1 obligation to respect human rights
Article 1Obligation to respect human rights
  • The High Contracting Parties shall secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in Section I of this Convention
article 3
  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
article 8
Article 8
  • 1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence
article 81
Article 8
  • 2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others
article 13
Article 13
  • Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in this Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority nothwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity
article 14
Article 14
  • The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status
article 50
Article 50
  • If the Court finds that a decision or a measure taken by a local authority or any other authority of a High Contracting Parties, is completely or partially in conflict with the obligation arising from the present Convention, and if the international law of the said Party allows only partial reparation to be made for the consequences of this decision or measure, the decision of the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party
article 63
Article 63
  • 1. Any State may at the time of its ratification or at any time thereafter declare by notification addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe that the present Convention shall extend to all or any of the territories for whose international relations it is responsible
chart p 163
Chart, p. 163
  • Read the text carefully and find the information you need to fill in the first four columns of the chart on p. 163. As you work, decide which of the words or phrases from i) you need to understand in order to complete the chart. Where necesary, use your vocabulary skills to work out the meaning of these key words and phrases. Use cognates, root words and word families, the general context, logical reasoning and specific context clues and your dictionary.
oral practice
Oral practice
  • Use the information in your chart to describe the main issues in the Tyrer case and the Commission’s decision on each issue, e.g.: ‘Mr Tyrer also cited Art. 8 of the ECHR, which protects the right to family life. The Commission found that his application was inadmissible on this issue.’
  • Consider the Articles of the Convention cited by Tyrer in relation to the facts of the case. Consider the Commission’s decision: given the information you have about the case, do you agree with the Commission?
  • How do you suppose the judgment will continue?
reading strategy paragraphs 28 31
Reading strategy (paragraphs 28-31)
  • Learn about the text
  • Question
  • Read in Detail
  • Reformulate and Consider
learn about the text
Learn about the text
  • What type of text is it?
  • When and where was it published?
  • Is it part of a longer publication?
  • What and who is it about?
  • What do you want to know from the text?
  • What do you think the text can tell you?
  • Write your questions and try to predict some of the answers.
read in detail
Read in detail
  • Read the text carefully, looking for the answers and reading to check your predictions
  • Use your vocabulary skills to understand key words and phrases
  • Identify the main points of the text and reformulate this in the form of a summary, chart or diagram
  • Remind yourself of what you have learnt and consider the information in relation to your previous knowledge:
  • What is the importance of what you have read?
  • What are the implications for what you already know?
  • What is your personal reaction to what you have learnt?
on article 3
  • 28. The applicant claimed before the Commission that the facts of his case constituted a breach of Art. 3 of the Convention which provides:
on article 31
  • ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’
on article 32
  • He alleged that there had been torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or any combination thereof.
on article 33
  • In its report, the Commission expressed the opinion that judicial corporal punishment, being degrading, constituted a breach of Article 3 and that, consequently, its infliction on the applicant was in violation of that provision.
on article 34
  • 29. The Court shares the Commission’s view that Mr. Tyrer’s punishment did not amount ‘torture’ within the meaning of Art. 3.The Court does not consider that the facts of this particular case reveal that the applicant underwent suffering of the level inherent in this notion as it was interpreted and applied by the Court in its judgment of 18 Jan. 1978 (Ireland v. the UK, Series A no. 25, pp 66-67, && 167 and 174).
background information ireland v the uk series a no 25
Background information: Ireland v. the UK, Series A no. 25,
  • The British Government, faced with serious acts of terrorism perpetrated by members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Loyalist groups in Northern Ireland, introduced special powers of arrest and detention without trial, which were widely used, chiefly against the IRA.
ireland v the uk series a no 25
Ireland v. the UK, Series A no. 25,
  • Notices of derogation under Article 15 (1) were lodged with the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe in view of the 'public emergency threatening the life of the nation'.
ireland v the uk series a no 251
Ireland v. the UK, Series A no. 25,
  • The Government of the Republic of Ireland brought an application before the Commission alleging, inter alia, ... (ii) that various interrogation practices--in particular the so-called 'five techniques', which included wall- standing, hooding and deprivation of sleep and food--and other practices to which suspects were subjected amounted to torture and inhuman or degrading treatment contrary to Article 3...
ireland v the uk series a no 252
Ireland v. the UK, Series A no. 25,
  • The Commission unanimously found that the five techniques did constitute a practice of torture and that other practices amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment;
on article 35
  • That judgment also contains various indications concerning the notions of ‘inhuman treatment’ and ‘degrading treatment’ but it deliberately left aside the notions of ‘inhuman punishment’ and ‘degrading punishment’ which alone are relevant in the present case. Those indications accordingly cannot, as such, serve here.
on article 36
  • Nevertheless, it remains true that the suffering occasioned must attain a particular level before a punishment can be classified as ‘inhuman’ within the meaning of Article 3.
on article 37
  • Here again, the Court does not consider on the facts of the case that that level was attained and it therefore concurs with the Commission that the penalty imposed on Mr. Tyrer was not ‘inhuman punishment’ within the meaning of Article 3. Accordingly, the only question for decision is whether he was subjected to a ‘degrading punishment’ contrary to that Article.
on article 38
  • 30. The Court notes first of all that a person may be humiliated by the mere fact of being criminally convicted. However, what is relevant for the purposes of Art. 3 is that he should be humiliated not simply by his conviction but by the execution of the punishment which is imposed on him.
on article 39
  • In fact, in most if not all cases this may be one of the effects of judicial punishment, involving as it does unwilling subjection to the demands of the penal system.
on article 310
  • However, as the Court pointed out in its judgment of 18 Jan. 1978 in the case of Ireland v. the UK (Series A no. 25 p. 65&163), the prohibition contained in Art. 3 of the Convention is absolute: no provision is made for exceptions and under Article 15&2, there can be no derogation from Art. 3
on article 311
  • It would be absurd to hold that judicial punishment generally, by reason of its usual and perhaps almost inevitable element of humiliation, is ‘degrading’ within the meaning of Art. 3.
on article 312
  • Some further criterion must be read into the text. Indeed, Art. 3, by expressly prohibiting ‘inhuman’ and ‘degrading’ punishment, implies that there is a distinction between such punishment and punishment in general.
on article 313
  • In the Court’s view, in order for punishment to be ‘degrading’ and in breach of Art. 3, the humiliation or debasement involved must attain a particular level and must in any event be other than that usual element of humiliation referred to in the preceding sub-paragraph.
on article 314
  • The assessment is, in the nature of things, relative: it depends on all the circumstances of the case and, in particular, on the nature and context of the punishment itself and the manner and method of its execution.
on article 315
  • 31. The Attorney-General for the Isle of Man argued that the judicial corporal punishment at issue in this case was not in breach of the Convention since it did not outrage public opinion in the Island.
on article 316
  • However, even assuming that local public opinion can have an incidence on the interpretation of the concept of ‘degrading punishment’ appearing in Article 3, the Court does not regard it as established that judicial corporal punishment is not considered degrading by those members of the Manx population who favour its retention: it might well be that one of the reasons why they view the penalty as an effective deterrent is precisely the element of degradation which it involves.
on article 317
  • As regards their belief that judicial corporal punishment deters criminals, it must be pointed out that a punishment does not lose its degrading character just because it is believed to be, or actually is, an effective deterrent or aid to crime control. Above all, as the Court must emphasise, it is never permissible to have recourse to punishments which are contrary to Article 3, whatever their deterrent effect may be.
on article 318
  • The Court must also recall that the Convention is a living instrument which, as the Commission rightly stressed, must be interpreted in the light of present-day conditions.
on article 319
  • In the case now before it the Court cannot but be influenced by the developments and commonly accepted standards in the penal policy of the member States of the Council of Europe in this field.
on article 320
  • Indeed, the Attorney-General for the Isle of Man mentioned that, for many years, the provisions of Manx legislation concerning judicial corporal punishment had been under review.
  • Identify the main points of the text in the form of a summary
language points
Language points
  • Notice the use of shall in Article 3 of the Convention. Shall is often used in formal written laws and regulations. What does it mean, and how would you normally express the same idea in everyday English?
language points1
Language points
  • What do you understand by these expressions from paragraph 31 of the text?
  • A) it might well be that…(94)
  • B) The Court cannot but be…(111)

Choose the correct verb or noun form of the words below to complete the statements: mean, convict, derogate, argue, assess, judge, imprison, prohibit, suffer, provide, deter, interpret

  • Several different ____were presented in favour of the plaintiff.
  • The exact___of ‘torture’ in the EC was defined in the____of Ireland v. UK 1978.
  • To___damages, the court will consider the exact nature and extent of the injury___.
  • Some people believe that only the death penalty will really____terrorists.
mean convict derogate argue assess judge imprison prohibit suffer provide deter interpret
mean, convict, derogate, argue, assess, judge, imprison, prohibit, suffer, provide, deter, interpret
  • He was___of murder and sentenced to life____.
  • International Law____that basic human rights shall be protected.
  • The exact effect of a statute depends on the way it is ___by the judiciary.
  • States must not_____from their international obligations
stating facts and expressing personal attitudes
Stating facts and expressing personal attitudes
  • What is your personal view on the case so far? Do you agree with the Court’s attitude towards Tyrer’s punishment?
read the rest of the court s judgment on article 3 of the convention
Read the rest of the Court’s judgment on Article 3 of the Convention
  • What is the main theme?
  • Predict the development of the text
  • 32. As regards the manner and method of execution of the birching inflicted on Mr. Tyrer, the Attorney-General for the Isle of Man drew particular attention to the fact that the punishment was carried out in private and without publication of the name of the offender.
predict the development
Predict the development
  • The rest of the judgment has been divided into short sections, each ending with a connective. Use the information in each section, together with the connective, to predict the development of the text.
  • Publicity may be a relevant factor in assessing whether a punishment is ‘degrading’ within the meaning of Art. 3, but the Court does not consider that absence of publicity will necessarily prevent a given punishment from falling into that category: it may well suffice that the victim is humiliated in his own eyes, even if not in the eyes of others.
  • The Court notes that the relevant Isle of Man legislation, as well as giving the offender a right of appeal against sentence, provides for certain safeguards. Thus,
  • There is a prior medical examination; the number of strokes and dimensions of the birch are regulated in detail; a doctor is present and may order the punishment to be stopped; in the case of a child or young person, the parent may attend if he so desires; the birching is carried out by a police constable in the presence of a more senior colleague.
  • Nevertheless,
  • The Court must consider whether the other circumstances of the applicant’s punishment were such as to make it ‘degrading’ within the meaning of Art.3
  • The very nature of judicial corporal punishment is that it involves one human being inflicting physical violence on another human being. Furthermore, it is institutionalised violence, that is in the present case violence permitted by the law, ordered by the judicial authorities of the State and carried out by the police authorities of the State. Thus,
  • Although the applicant did not suffer any severe or long-lasting physical effects, his punishment - whereby he was treated as an object in the power of the authorities – constituted an assault on precisely that which it is one of the main purposes of Art. 3 to protect, namely a person’s dignity and physical integrity. Neither can it be excluded that the punishment may have had adverse psychological effects.
  • The institutionalised character of this violence is further compounded by the whole aura of official procedure attending the punishment and by the fact that those inflicting it were total strangers to the offender.
  • Admittedly, the relevant legislation provides that in any event birching shall not take place later than six months after the passing of sentence. However,
  • This does not alter the fact that there had been an interval of several weeks since the applicant’s conviction by the juvenile court and a considerable delay in the police station where the punishment was carried out. Accordingly,
  • In addition to the physical pain he experienced, Mr. Tyrer was subjected to the mental anguish of anticipating the violence he was to have inflicted on him.
  • 34. In the present case, the Court does not consider it relevant that the sentence of judicial corporal punishment was imposed on the applicant for an offence of violence. Neither does it consider it relevant that, for Mr. Tyrer, birching was an alternative to a period of detention: the fact that one penalty may be preferable to, or have less adverse effects or be less serious than another penalty does not of itself mean that the first penalty is not ‘degrading’ within the meaning of Art. 3.
  • 35. Accordingly,
  • Viewing these circumstances as a whole, the Court finds that the applicant was subjected to a punishment in which the element of humiliation attained the level inherent in the notion of ‘degrading punishment’ as explained at paragraph 30 above. The indignity of having the punishment administered over the bare posterior aggravated to some extent the degrading charachter of the applicant’s punishment but it was not the only or determining factor.
  • The Court therefore
  • Concludes that the judicial corporal punishment inflicted on the applicant amounted to degrading punishment within the meaning of Art. 3 of te Convention.
  • What are the main points in this part of judgment?
choose from a indeed b although c furthermore d accordingly e however
Choose from: a) indeed b) although c) furthermore d) accordingly e) however
  • ___the punishment was inflicted in private and without publicity, it would still be ‘degrading’ if the victrim felt personally humiliated. The execution of the punishment was strictly controlled by law, ___the Court must still decide if it was degrading in the circumstances.
choose from a indeed b although c furthermore d accordingly e however1
Choose from: a) indeed b) although c) furthermore d) accordingly e) however
  • In fact the violence was institutional violence, consequently because of its official character Tyrer’s suffering was not only physical, but also psychological. __there was not only the physical pain of the birching, but also the mental suffering caused by the long wait of several weeks before the punishment was given.
choose from a indeed b although c furthermore d accordingly e however2
Choose from: a) indeed b) although c) furthermore d) accordingly e) however
  • There was,___, a long delay at the police station on the day of the whipping. It is not relevant that Tyrer’s punishment was imposed for a crime of violence, or that it was given instead of a prison sentence. Thus, the punishment was, in all the circumstances, ‘degrading punishment’ and was ___in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
true or false
True or false?
  • They agreed that Tyrer’s punishment was not ‘inhuman’ because he did not suffer enough
  • Criminal conviction is frequently humiliating
  • Article 3 of the Convention concerns the execution of the punishment, not the conviction itself
true or false1
True or false?
  • There are very few exceptions to Article 3
  • Judicial punishment is generally humiliating and degrading and therefore contrary to Article 3
  • The Court will consider the general context and circumstances to decide if a punishment is degrading
true or false2
True or false?
  • The Manx population consider judicial corporal punishment degrading
  • Even if a punishment discourages people from committing crime, it may still be contrary to Article 3
  • In interpreting the Convention, the Court is influenced by the modern penal policy of States belonging to the Council of Europe
true or false3
True or false?
  • Punishment inflicted in private and without publicity is not degrading
  • In some ways official violence is worse than ‘private’ violence
  • Tyrer’s punishment constituted a violation of his dignity and physical integrity
true or false4
True or false?
  • Tyrer suffered both physically and mentally
  • Tyrer’s punishment was, in all the circumstances, degrading and therefore in breach of Article 3 of the Convention
choose the correct verb
Choose the correct verb
  • The plaintiff (prosecuted/ tried/ sued/ claimed) the defendant for damages for breach of contract.
  • The defendant was (prosecuted/ convicted/ filed/ sued) for theft under the Theft Act.
  • The Court (claimed/ held/ argued/ charged) that the act was in breach of Article 53 of the Treaty
choose the correct verb1
Choose the correct verb
  • The applicant (alleged/ applied/ condemned / lodged) that the defendant State had violated basic principles of International Law.
  • Counsel for the defence (defended/ alleged/ held/ submitted) that the defendant had acted in self-defence.
  • Use the information in the text to design a chart which shows in detail how Art. 3 of the ECHR was applied in the Tyrer case. Your chart should illustrate Tyrer’s allegations and the Commission’s and Court’s decisions regarding the different types of treatment or punishment which Art. 3 prohibits. For ideas on how to design your chart, refer to the chart on p. 163.
  • The text contains a variety of expressions used to refer to the violation or application of a norm. Write them for easy reference. Scan the texts in Sections One and Two to complete these lists.
the decision
The decision
  • Think about the Tyrer case. In its final decision given at the end of the judgment, the Court gives two rulings on Art. 3. Use the cues below to write what you think the decision will say
  • First ruling: Art. 3/degrading punishment
  • Second ruling: Violation of Art. 3
  • “The Court holds that…
  • “The Court decides that…
for these reasons the court
  • 1. decides unanimously not to strike the case out of its list;
  • 2. holds by six votes to one that the judicial corporal punishment inflicted on Mr. Tyrer amounted to degrading punishment within the meaning of Art. 3;
  • 3. holds unanimously that in the present case there are no local requirements within the meaning of Art. 63 & 3 which could affect the application of Art. 3;
for these reasons the court1
  • 4. holds by six votes to one that the said punishment accordingly violated Art. 3;
  • 5. holds unanimously that it is not necessary to examine the question of a possible violation of Art. 3 taken together with Art. 14;
  • 6. holds unanimously that it is not necessary to apply Art. 50 in the present case.
  • Done in English and French, the English text being authentic, at the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg, this twenty-fifth day of April, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-eight.
  • Signed: Giorgio BALLADORE PALLIERI
  • President
  • Choose one or more aspects of the Tyrer case that you have studied: the facts ; the general background – proceedings before the Commission – the Court’s judgment on Art. 3 – the Court’s decision.
  • Prepare to talk about the aspect of the case you have chosen.
  • The Court’s decision on Art. 3 was not unanimous. In fact, the British judge, Sir Gerald Fitzmaurice, dissented. In his separate opinion, he explained that in his view corporal punishment, when inflicted on a juvenile, is no more degrading than any other form of punishment. He remembers that corporal punishment was quite normal when he was at school.
  • In fact, boys preferred it to some other forms of non-violent punishment, and the boy punished did not feel degraded. For these reasons he does not consider that Tyrer’s punishment amounted to degrading punishment within the meaning of Art. 3. What do you think?