The Right to Life

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Every person has a right to life, however it can be limited by Government but only in narrowly defined circumstances and never in an arbitrary way. Protocol 13 to the ECHR abolishes the death penalty in all circumstances.

The deprivation of an individual’s life must be understood as a measure of last resort, for which the relevant public authorities must show that no other alternative was possible. 

The use of excessive force will always represent a violation of the right to life. The right to life does not infer an individual’s right to die. 

The right to life also incorporates a right to an effective investigation, where it is alleged that an individual’s right to life has been breached.

Through its close connection with the right to health and right to private and family life, the right to life applies to numerous areas of NICS work. For example:

  • Health and social care

  • Health and safety of roads, buildings or homes

  • Environmental pollution and hazards

  • Questions around euthanasia