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Soering v United Kingdom (1989) 11 EHRR 439, Judgment of 7 July 1989.

Facts: the applicant was a German national; he was charged with capital crime and was serving a sentence in the U.K. An order for the applicant's extradition to Virginia in the United States was issued. Therefore he faced a possible death sentence in Virginia and exposure to the death row.

Complaint: the applicant claimed that the extradition from the UK to the USA and the risk of serving on death row would constitute a violation of article 3 of the European Convention.

Holding: the ECHR found a violation of article 3, thereby recognizing the extra-territorial effect of the ECHR

Reasoning: the Court held that Article 3 could not be interpreted as prohibiting, in itself, capital punishment. However, the conditions of execution of the punishment (exposure to "death row" syndrome) would expose the applicant to a real risk of treatment going beyond the threshold set by Article 3.

 

 

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