In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of B.V. v. Belgium (application no. 61030/08) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of the procedural aspect of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case concerned the investigation carried out by the Belgian authorities after the applicant had lodged a criminal complaint alleging rape and indecent assault.
The Court found in particular that the applicant’s allegations were arguable and could therefore be regarded as complaints of treatment breaching Article 3 of the Convention. Accordingly, in view of the State’s obligation to carry out an effective investigation, the authorities should, as soon as she had lodged her complaint, have made prompt use of all the available opportunities to establish the facts and, as appropriate, the circumstances surrounding the alleged acts of rape and indecent assault. The Court concluded that the investigation could not, in such circumstances, be said to have been serious and thorough.