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With the judgment of 2nd March 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) condemned Italy for the case of Talpis v Italy (no. 41237/14).
Ms. Talpis brought the case in front of the ECtHR accusing Italy of failing to protect her and her children in a case of domestic violence. After the first incidents of violence were reported to the authorities, the case culminated with the attempted murder of Ms Talpis and the death of her son.
The ECtHR therefore held, by 6 votes to 1, that there had been a violation of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) on account of the murder of Ms. Talpis' son and her attempted murder by her husband. The Court also held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) on account of the failure of the authorities in their obligation to protect Ms Talpis against acts of domestic violence and, by 5 votes to 2, that there had been a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention.
The Court found, in particular, that by failing to take prompt action on the complaint lodged by Ms Talpis, the national authorities had deprived that complaint of any effect, creating a situation of impunity conducive to the recurrence of the acts of violence, which had then led to the attempted murder of Ms Talpis and the death of her son. The authorities had therefore failed in their obligation to protect the lives of the persons concerned.
The Court also found that Ms Talpis had lived with her children in a climate of violence serious enough to qualify as ill-treatment, and that the manner in which the authorities had conducted the criminal proceedings pointed to judicial passivity, which was incompatible with Article 3 of the Convention.
Finally, the Court found that Ms Talpis had been the victim of discrimination as a woman on account of the inaction of the authorities, which had underestimated the violence in question and thus essentially endorsed it.