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Part A - The RIGHT to LIFE

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Chapter Summary

The right to life is guaranteed in several international and regional human rights instruments. Constitutional protection against deprivation of life by the State "without due process of law" dates back at least to the US Bill of Rights of the late eighteenth century, and arguably to the English Magna Carta of 1215. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has stated that the right to life is "one of the most fundamental provisions in the Convention". The UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) describes it as 'the supreme right'. The right to life encompasses positive obligations on the State to prevent killings, the obligation to conduct an effective investigation where a suspicious death has occurred with a view to identifying and prosecuting the alleged perpetrators, and the obligation to provide an effective remedy. The positive obligation derives from the statement that the right to life "shall be protected by law".

Keywords:European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR); human rights; Human Rights Committee (HRC); right to life



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