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Case Law 9786/03 (04/03/2008)

Type: Judgment

Authority: European Authorities: European Court of human rights

Date: 03/04/2008

Subject: The applicant, Aurelio Cavallo, is an Italian national who was born in 1956. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and other offences relating to the activities of a mafia-type organisation and is currently in prison in Carinola (Italy). He complained, in particular, about the special prison regime to which he was subjected, entailing, among other things, repeated strip searches, permanent supervision of his cell by closed-circuit cameras, restrictions on family visits and monitoring of his correspondence. He relied on Articles 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court observed that the special regime applied to the applicant had been gradually eased and had eventually been revoked by the courts when it had no longer been deemed necessary in his case. Finding that the continuing application of the regime had not attained the requisite minimum level of severity, it held unanimously that there had been no violation of Article 3. The Court further noted that it had previously held that the relevant legislative provision did not form a sufficient legal basis for the monitoring of the applicant’s correspondence, in breach of Article 8. In respect of non-pecuniary damage, it held that the finding of a violation constituted in itself sufficient just satisfaction.

Parties: Cavallo c/ Italie

Classification: Dignity - Art. 4 Inhuman punishments - Degrading punishments - Inhuman treatments - Degrading treatments - Freedoms - Art. 7 Privacy