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Reforms to prevent detention without a court’s permission

Harkmann v. Estonia  | 2006

Reforms to prevent detention without a court’s permission

Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.

Extract from Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Background

Allar Harkmann was arrested and taken into custody. He was held for 15 days, without a court hearing his case or examining the legality of his detention. After he was released, the criminal proceedings against him were discontinued.

Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights

The court ruled that the failure to have Mr Harkmann’s detention promptly reviewed by a judge - and the lack of any chance for him to obtain compensation - had breached his right to liberty.

Follow-up

In November 2006 a new law came into force. It gave the right to claim compensation to people who are arrested and detained, but not brought before a judge within 48 hours.