The Regime of Long-Term Family Visits for Prisoners Serving Life Sentence: Vinter is Coming (Back)

Filippo Fontanelli, Kanstantin Dzehtsiarou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

With Vinter v United Kingdom the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights recently re-defined the standard governing whole-life imprisonment in the Member States of the Council of Europe. The obligation found in Vinter to review life sentences, even those without parole, points to a gradual shift from retribution to rehabilitation, which must affect other aspects of the life of individuals serving whole-life tariffs. We argue that the principle irradiating from Vinter should reach even further and redefine prisoners' rights under art.8. Our modest claim is that the notion of the right to hope implies all prisoners' right to benefit from rehabilitation programmes, and in particular to enjoy long-term family visits, including unsupervised visits by family members of the inmate and conjugal visits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-173
JournalEuropean Human Rights Law Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Conjugal rights
  • Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • parole
  • Prisoners' rights
  • Rehabilitation
  • Relatives
  • Right to respect for private and family life
  • Visitors
  • Whole life orders
  • European Court of Human Rights
  • European Convention of Human Rights
  • Vinter
  • Russian law
  • right to hope

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