CASE OF VINTER AND OTHERS v. THE UNITED KINGDOM
(Applications nos. 66069/09, 130/10 and 3896/10)
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, in a case of multiple murder, ruled that whole-life prison terms imposed in Britain amounted to “inhuman and degrading” treatment.
The Grand Chamber said the fact that “they had no hope of release” was a breach of their rights but added that the ruling was not intended “to give the applicants any prospect of imminent release”.
The murderers had appealed their whole-life prison sentences — which mean they cannot be released except at the discretion of the justice secretary or on compassionate grounds — under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which forbids “inhuman and degrading treatment”.