Separating Protection from the Exigencies of the Criminal Law: Achievements and Challenges under Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


The chapter analyses the obligation upon states to identify migrants as victims of harm falling within the scope of Article 4 ECHR and to extend protection and assistance to them as victims independently from any criminal proceedings and from any actual or potential participation by the victims in any criminal proceedings. More specifically, the questions under investigation are the following: Is the ECtHR case law supportive of the separation between identification and protection, on the one hand, and any criminal proceedings, on the other? If identification and the ensuring protection are separated from the exigencies of the criminal law, what could be the positive and the negative repercussions? Such repercussions are examined both from the perspective of the state and from the perspective of the individual. The chapter demonstrates the achievements in the existing ECtHR case law under Article 4 ECHR. At the same time, it also argues that the full potential of the positive obligation of adopting effective regulatory frameworks that extend beyond the realm of national substantive and procedural criminal law remains to be explored and further developed in the future case law.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law


  • Human rights, Public international law
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoercive Human Rights
EditorsLaurens Lavrysen, Natasa Mavronicola
PublisherHart Publishing Ltd
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020
Publication categoryResearch