In line with the European Court’s case-law and decisions rendered by the Committee of Ministers in the context of the execution of the Court’s judgments, five Member States of the Council of Europe have to date ended or plan to end prescription for acts of torture by amending their legislation:
- Armenia – as from July 2022 (Virabyan and Muradyan groups of cases);
- Moldova – as from December 2012 (Corsacov group of cases);
- North Macedonia – Draft law tabled in Parliament in 2021 (Kitanovski group of cases);
- Romania – as from July 2021 (Al Nashiri);
- Turkey – as from 2013 (Bati group of cases).
Torture, and other forms of ill-treatment, is proscribed by Article 3 ECHR which enshrines one of the most fundamental values of democratic societies, closely bound up with respect for human dignity. No derogation from Article 3 is permissible under the Convention even in the most difficult circumstances, such as the fight against terrorism and organised crime. The Court has indicated that in cases concerning ill-treatment inflicted by state agents, criminal proceedings ought not to be discontinued on account of a limitation period, while amnesties and pardons should not be tolerated in such cases.