Your right to life is protected by Article 2. Public authorities are bound by the right to life to not end your life in any way except for very specific situations.
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It is your duty to take positive actions
Public authorities may have to take positive steps to safeguard you in the event of your life being put at risk.
If they are aware that your life is at risk, they have a duty to protect it. They may also violate article 2 if they fail to act to protect your life.
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Investigating the duty
The state is obligated to investigate any death that occurs when a public official or another person is injured or killed.
- Example of Article 2 violations
- Here are some examples of situations where article 2 could be violated:
- If someone is killed by negligence or neglect, such as in a hospital/care home,
- If you are denied life-saving treatment
- Refusal to investigate death attributable to a public authority.
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Is it possible to justify a violation of article 2 – Your right to life sometimes?
Article 2 is sometimes referred to as an absolute rights. Absolute rights are rights that cannot be interfered with by any state.
There are very few situations in which it is not a violation of article 2, if someone is killed by a public authority.
- If someone is killed in any of the following circumstances, it’s not an offense to article 2.
- If it is in self-defence, or to defend someone else against unlawful violence
- To lawfully arrest someone, or to prevent them escaping from lawful detention
- To stop a riot, or insurrection.
All three cases require that the public authority used force proportionately to the threat.
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Article 2 also allows the death penalty, but the UK signed a protocol prohibiting the practice. It is therefore illegal in the UK.