Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) foresees that no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Most of the disputes regarding Article 3 of the ECHR arised from detention situations, where the detainees complain about inhuman detainment. The detainees mostly complained about floor space and conditions for detention.

The most remarkable decision in this area would be the Supreme Court of Estonia decision No 3-3-1-83-16, where the Supreme Court changed its practice by stating that the area of sanitary unit located in the cell is not counted in the room space and it is necessary to assess whether the chamber furniture prevents the detainee from moving in the cell in the usual way.

In addition to the detention condition disputes, the article also assessed granting human treatment in other detention facilities, such as hospitals providing psychiatric help, the Estonian Defence Forces, police detention centres and migration centres. It revealed that there are various problems and shortcomings in all these detention facilities.

The article was published on 12 December 2017 in the review of human rights in Estonia, which is issued by the Human Rights Centre of Estonia. The review can be read here:

The article can be found here:

Any questions regarding the article can be discussed by e-mail with Epp on or with Kristena on or by calling +372 680 6850.

Advokaadibüroo ALTERNA