What the duty to protect the right to life involves and how to evaluate whether there has been a violation?

Everyone has the right to life. This means that agents of the state must not only avoid the unnecessary taking of life, but must also actively protect it and investigate any case of unnatural death. 

This means that:

  • agents of the state may only use lethal force in very few occasions which must be exceptional, and only where it is absolutely necessary
  • in cases where agents of the state are aware that someone’s life is, or may be, at risk, they have a duty to do everything reasonably possible to protect it
  • if someone’s life has been taken, the State has a duty to investigate it

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Last updated 04/04/2024