right to life

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A right set out in Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and now part of UK law as a consequence of the Human Rights Act1998. The right to life does not make the use of the death sentence unlawful (but see capital punishment). Article 2 makes unlawful the use of lethal force where the use of force was greater than that which was absolutely necessary (this is a higher test than imposed by section 3 of the Criminal Law Act 1967). The right to life also imposes a duty on public authorities to take reasonable measures to protect life from threats from third parties. Article 2 also imposes a duty to ensure that any investigation of a death caused by a public body, such as a death in custody, is independent and effective (Jordan v UK (2003) 37 EHRR 2).

Subjects: Law.

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