ENTRY INTO FORCE of the European Convention on Human Rights
31 August 1954
Number of implemented cases*
Mentally handicapped Miss Y. was sexually abused the night after her sixteenth birthday. Y.’s father tried to bring a criminal prosecution against the attacker, but Dutch law stated that only the victim could start such a prosecution. Y.’s condition meant she could not do this, so her attacker was not brought to justice. The European court ruled that this violated her basic rights.
Frits Winterwerp was detained in a psychiatric hospital. He said that he was not mentally ill and he should be released. However, he was repeatedly prevented from making his case in the Dutch courts, which kept extending his detention without hearing from him. The European court ruled this had violated his right to liberty. Reforms were made to protect people in Mr Winterwerp’s situation.
R.V. was a postman. Along with 200 others, he was put under secret surveillance by security services – allegedly for being part of the Peace Movement. The European Commission for Human Rights found that Dutch law had not properly protected the applicants, violating their right to privacy. A new law was passed to clearly set out the circumstances and conditions in which secret surveillance can...
* This figure includes all judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights (including friendly settlements) concerning which the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has decided that all necessary follow-up measures have been taken. Source: the database of the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the ECHR, HUDOC-EXEC.