Giuseppe Puma

The Section 41-"bis" of the Italian Prison Administration Act Again Under Scrutiny of the European Court of Human Rights: The "Paolello" Case

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Inhuman treatment; Margin of Appreciation; Absolute Rights; Right to Respect for Family Life; Organized Crime

In the case of "Paolello v. Italy" the European Court of Human Rights found that the measures taken by the Italian authorities under Section 41-bis of the Italian Prison Administration Act are consistent with Art. 3 of the ECHR., which prohibits torture and inhuman treatments, and with Art. 8 of the European Convention, which protects the right to the respect of private and family life. The author contends that, despite the absolute nature of the rights enshrined in article 3, the Court often takes into account a number of elements in order to assess whether a given treatment is to be considered as inhuman or degrading, and not only the roughness of the treatment in itself. In the present case, a prominent role has been given to the interest of the State concerned in the fight against organized crime. The Court also found that the interference by the Italian authorities in the right to the respect of family life and correspondence of the applicant were necessary for the prevention of crime.

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